Systematic Review: The Epidemiology, Natural History, and Burden of Alagille Syndrome.
ABSTRACT: Alagille syndrome (ALGS) is an inherited multisystem disorder typically manifesting as cholestasis, and potentially leading to end-stage liver disease and death. The aim of the study was to perform the first systematic review of the epidemiology, natural history, and burden of ALGS with a focus on the liver component.Electronic databases and proceedings from key congresses were searched in accordance with Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses (PRISMA) 2009 guidelines. This analysis included publications reporting epidemiology, natural history, economic burden or health-related quality of life (HRQoL) outcomes in patients with ALGS.Of 525 screened publications, 20 met the inclusion criteria. Liver-related features included cholestasis (87%-100% of patients), jaundice (66%-85%), and cirrhosis (44%-95%). Between 15% and 47% of patients underwent liver transplantation and 4% to 14% received partial biliary diversion. Pruritus affected the majority of patients (59%-88%, of whom up to 45% had severe pruritus) and manifested during the first 10 years of life. Children with ALGS had significantly impaired HRQoL compared with healthy controls and those with other diseases. Itching was the symptom that most affected children with ALGS. No study assessed the economic burden of ALGS.Our findings consolidate information on the clinical course of ALGS, and highlight gaps in knowledge, most notably the absence of any research on the economic consequences of the disease. Further research is needed to establish the incidence of genetically confirmed ALGS. Disease-specific tools are also needed to improve the measurement of symptoms, such as itching, and better understand the impact of ALGS on HRQoL.
Project description:To evaluate the efficacy of nontransplant surgery for pediatric cholestasis, 58 clinically diagnosed children, including 20 with Alagille syndrome (ALGS), 16 with familial intrahepatic cholestasis-1 (FIC1), 18 with bile salt export pump (BSEP) disease, and 4 others with low ?-glutamyl transpeptidase disease (levels <100 U/L), were identified across 14 Childhood Liver Disease Research Network (ChiLDReN) centers. Data were collected retrospectively from individuals who collectively had 39 partial external biliary diversions (PEBDs), 11 ileal exclusions (IEs), and seven gallbladder-to-colon (GBC) diversions. Serum total bilirubin decreased after PEBD in FIC1 (8.1 ± 4.0 vs. 2.9 ± 4.1 mg/dL, preoperatively vs. 12-24 months postoperatively, respectively; P = 0.02), but not in ALGS or BSEP. Total serum cholesterol decreased after PEBD in ALGS patients (695 ± 465 vs. 457 ± 319 mg/dL, preoperatively vs. 12-24 months postoperatively, respectively; P = 0.0001). Alanine aminotransferase levels increased in ALGS after PEBD (182 ± 70 vs. 260 ± 73 IU/L, preoperatively vs. 24 months; P = 0.03), but not in FIC1 or BSEP. ALGS, FIC1, and BSEP patients experienced less severely scored pruritus after PEBD (ALGS, 100% vs. 9% severe; FIC1, 64% vs. 10%; BSEP, 50% vs. 20%, preoperatively vs. >24 months postoperatively, respectively; P < 0.001). ALGS patients experienced a trend toward greater freedom from xanthomata after PEBD. There was a trend toward decreased pruritus in FIC1 after IE and GBC. Vitamin K supplementation increased in ALGS after PEBD (33% vs. 77%; P = 0.03). Overall, there were 15 major complications after surgery. Twelve patients (3 ALGS, 3 FIC1, and 6 BSEP) subsequently underwent liver transplantation.This was a multicenter analysis of nontransplant surgical approaches to intrahepatic cholestasis. Approaches vary, are well tolerated, and generally, although not uniformly, result in improvement of pruritus and cholestasis. (Hepatology 2017;65:1645-1654).
Project description:The aim was to develop a clinical outcome assessment (COA) for itching in children with cholestatic pruritus.This prospective study aimed to enroll patients aged 4-30 years with Alagille syndrome (ALGS) or progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis type 1 and caregivers of patients aged 5 months to 14 years. Eligible patients experienced itching during ?3 of the 7 days before enrollment and had not undergone liver transplant or surgical interruption of the enterohepatic circulation. Open-ended qualitative interviews confirmed that itching was a primary concern for patients and caregivers. Diaries were modified and then evaluated by participants during cognitive debriefing. Interview results were reviewed by clinical, COA and statistical experts. Diary questions were revised following an interim analysis before finalizing the Itch Reported Outcome (ItchRO).Thirty-six interviews were analyzed, representing 25 families of patients with ALGS. Itching was reported spontaneously (without prompting by the interviewer) by ten of 12 patients with ALGS and 19 of 20 caregivers. Consequences of itching included skin damage (78%), mood changes (59%), and difficulties staying asleep (59%) or falling asleep (53%). Two versions of the ItchRO were developed: ItchRO(Patient) for self-completion by patients and ItchRO(Observer) for caregivers. The ItchRO diaries comprise a single scorable item to assess itch and are to be completed twice daily (morning and evening).Itching was the most bothersome ALGS symptom reported by study participants. We have developed the ItchRO(Patient) and ItchRO(Observer) to assess itching in children with ALGS and other cholestatic liver diseases. These diaries are being validated for use in clinical trials.
Project description:Alagille syndrome (ALGS) and progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis (PFIC) are rare, inherited cholestatic liver disorders that manifest in infants and children and are associated with impaired bile flow (ie cholestasis), pruritus and potentially fatal liver disease. There are no effective or approved pharmacologic treatments for these diseases (standard medical treatments are supportive only), and new, noninvasive options would be valuable. Typically, bile acids undergo biliary secretion and intestinal reabsorption (ie enterohepatic circulation). However, in these diseases, disrupted secretion of bile acids leads to their accumulation in the liver, which is thought to underlie pruritus and liver-damaging inflammation. One approach to reducing pathologic bile acid accumulation in the body is surgical biliary diversion, which interrupts the enterohepatic circulation (eg by diverting bile acids to an external stoma). These procedures can normalize serum bile acids, reduce pruritus and liver injury and improve quality of life. A novel, nonsurgical approach to interrupting the enterohepatic circulation is inhibition of the ileal bile acid transporter (IBAT), a key molecule in the enterohepatic circulation that reabsorbs bile acids from the intestine. IBAT inhibition has been shown to reduce serum bile acids and pruritus in trials of paediatric cholestatic liver diseases. This review explores the rationale of inhibition of the IBAT as a therapeutic target, describes IBAT inhibitors in development and summarizes the current data on interrupting the enterohepatic circulation as treatment for cholestatic liver diseases including ALGS and PFIC.
Project description:In cholestatic syndromes, body accumulation of bile acids is thought to cause itching. However, the mechanisms supporting this effect remain elusive. Recently, GPBAR1 (TGR5) a G-protein coupled receptor has been shown to mediate itching caused by intradermal administration of DCA and LCA. 6?-ethyl-3?, 7?-dihydroxy-24-nor-5?-cholan-23-ol (BAR502) is a non-bile acid dual ligand for FXR and GPBAR1.Cholestasis was induced in wild type and GPBAR1-/- mice by administration of ?-naphthyl-isothiocyanate (ANIT) or 17?-ethynylestradiol.In naïve mice skin application of DCA, TLCA, 6-ECDCA, oleanolic and betulinic acid induces a GPBAR1 dependent pruritogenic response that could be desensitized by re-challenging the mice with the same GPBAR1 agonist. In wild type and GPBAR1-/- mice cholestasis induced by ANIT fails to induce spontaneous itching and abrogates scratching behavior caused by intradermal administration of DCA. In this model, co-treatment with BAR502 increases survival, attenuates serum alkaline phosphatase levels and robustly modulates the liver expression of canonical FXR target genes including OST?, BSEP, SHP and MDR1, without inducing pruritus. Betulinic acid, a selective GPBAR1 ligand, failed to rescue wild type and GPBAR1-/- mice from ANIT cholestasis but did not induced itching. In the 17?-ethynylestradiol model BAR502 attenuates cholestasis and reshapes bile acid pool without inducing itching.The itching response to intradermal injection of GPBAR1 agonists desensitizes rapidly and is deactivated in models of cholestasis, explain the lack of correlation between bile acids levels and itching severity in cholestatic syndromes. In models of non-obstructive cholestasis, BAR502 attenuates liver injury without causing itching.
Project description:Alagille syndrome (ALGS) is an autosomal dominant multisystem disorder with cholestasis as a defining clinical feature. We sought to characterize hepatic outcomes in a molecularly defined cohort of children with ALGS-related cholestasis. Two hundred and ninety-three participants with ALGS with native liver were enrolled. Participants entered the study at different ages and data were collected retrospectively prior to enrollment, and prospectively during the study course. Genetic analysis in 206 revealed <i>JAGGED1</i> mutations in 91% and <i>NOTCH2</i> mutations in 4%. Growth was impaired with mean height and weight <i>z</i>-scores of <-1.0 at all ages. Regression analysis revealed that every 10 mg/dL increase in total bilirubin was associated with a decrease in height <i>z</i>-score by 0.10 (<i>P</i> = 0.03) and weight <i>z</i>-score by 0.15 (<i>P</i> = 0.007). Total bilirubin was higher for younger participants (<i>P</i> = 0.03) with a median of 6.9 mg/dL for those less than 1 year old compared with a median of 1.3 mg/dL for participants 13 years or older. The median gamma glutamyl transferase also dropped from 612 to 268 in the same age groups. After adjusting for age, there was substantial within-individual variation of alanine aminotransferase. By 20 years of age, 40% of participants had developed definite portal hypertension. Estimated liver transplant-free survival at the age of 18.5 years was 24%. <i>Conclusions</i>: This is the largest multicenter natural history study of cholestasis in ALGS, demonstrating a previously underappreciated burden of liver disease with early profound cholestasis, a second wave of portal hypertension later in childhood, and less than 25% of patients reaching young adulthood with their native liver. These findings will promote optimization of ALGS management and development of clinically relevant endpoints for future therapeutic trials.
Project description:Osteopenia and bone fractures are significant causes of morbidity in children with cholestatic liver disease. Dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) analysis was performed in children with intrahepatic cholestatic diseases who were enrolled in the Longitudinal Study of Genetic Causes of Intrahepatic Cholestasis in the Childhood Liver Disease Research Network. DXA was performed on participants aged >5 years (with native liver) diagnosed with bile acid synthetic disorder (BASD), alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (A1AT), chronic intrahepatic cholestasis (CIC), and Alagille syndrome (ALGS). Weight, height, and body mass index Z scores were lowest in CIC and ALGS. Total bilirubin (TB) and serum bile acids (SBA) were highest in ALGS. Bone mineral density (BMD) and bone mineral content (BMC) Z scores were significantly lower in CIC and ALGS than in BASD and A1AT (P < 0.001). After anthropometric adjustment, bone deficits persisted in CIC but were no longer noted in ALGS. In ALGS, height-adjusted and weight-adjusted subtotal BMD and BMC Z scores were negatively correlated with TB (P < 0.001) and SBA (P = 0.02). Mean height-adjusted and weight-adjusted subtotal BMC Z scores were lower in ALGS participants with a history of bone fractures. DXA measures did not correlate significantly with biliary diversion status. Conclusion: CIC patients had significant bone deficits that persisted after adjustment for height and weight and generally did not correlate with degree of cholestasis. In ALGS, low BMD and BMC reference Z scores were explained by poor growth. Anthropometrically adjusted DXA measures in ALGS correlate with markers of cholestasis and bone fracture history. Reduced bone density in this population is multifactorial and related to growth, degree of cholestasis, fracture vulnerability, and contribution of underlying genetic etiology.
Project description:Untreated progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis (PFIC) type 2, or bile salt exporter protein deficiency, frequently leads to severe pruritus, impaired growth and progressive liver fibrosis with risk of organ failure. We describe a 15-month-old male patient with severe pruritus diagnosed with PFIC type 2 enrolled in an open-label phase 2 study who received 4 weeks of treatment with odevixibat, an ileal bile acid transporter inhibitor under development for cholestatic liver disease treatment. The patient experienced reductions in serum bile acids and improvement in itching and sleep scores, and odevixibat was well tolerated. After the odevixibat study, symptoms returned and the patient underwent partial external biliary diversion (PEBD). Odevixibat treatment and PEBD produced similar normalisation of serum bile acid levels and improvements in pruritus and sleep disruptions. Thus, odevixibat appeared to be as effective as invasive PEBD in treating serum bile acids and cholestatic pruritus in this patient.
Project description:Lysophosphatidic acid (LPA) mediates cholestatic pruritus. Recently the enzyme PNPLA3, expressed in liver and skin, was demonstrated to metabolise LPA. Here we assess the association of the PNPLA3 variant p.Ile148Met, known to be associated with (non-)alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) in genome-wide association studies, with cholestatic itch in 187 patients with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) and 250 PBC-free controls as well as 201 women with intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy (ICP) and 198 female controls without a history of ICP. Our hypothesis was that the intensity of cholestatic itch differs in carriers of distinct PNPLA3 p.Ile148Met genotypes. Patients with PBC carrying the allele p.148Met that confers an increased NAFLD risk reported less itching than carriers of the p.148Ile allele (ANOVA P = 0.048). The PNPLA3 p.148Ile allele increased the odds of requiring plasmapheresis for refractory pruritus (OR = 3.94, 95% CI = 0.91-17.00, P = 0.048). In line with these findings, the PNPLA3 p.148Met allele was underrepresented in the ICP cohort (OR = 0.66, 95% CI = 0.47-0.92, P = 0.013). Notwithstanding the need for further replication of these findings, we conclude that the PNPLA3 allele p.148Met might confer protection against cholestatic pruritus, possibly due to increased LPA-acyltransferase activity in liver and/or skin.
Project description:Cholestasis related pruritus, secondary to intrahepatic and/or extrahepatic biliary obstruction is a common manifestation in chronic liver disease. Pruritus is difficult to treat, and results are often suboptimal. A stepwise medical approach is usually employed, followed by a trial molecular adsorbents recirculation system in medication resistant cases. Pruritus resulting in reduced quality of life is a variant syndrome eligible for liver transplantation in the setting of preserved synthetic function.This case series describes the use of long-term (LT) nasobiliary drainage (NBD) in three patients with intractable pruritus. This case series tests the hypothesis that LT-NBD could be successfully used to alleviate cholestasis related pruritus, and prevent or delay the need for liver transplantation.LT-NBD was carried out in three female patients (mean age 43 years) with intractable pruritus secondary to primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) (n=2), and benign recurrent intrahepatic cholestasis (n=1). NBD was carried out through the endoscopic placement of a 6 French Cook Medical nasobiliary catheter into the common bile duct.Symptomatic relief of pruritus was described by all three cases within 24 h of NBD placement. LT-NBD was stopped in the patient with benign recurrent intrahepatic cholestasis after 8 weeks due to complete resolution of pruritus. In one patient with PBC, LT-NBD was undertaken over 12 months, with complete resolution of pruritus. In the second patient with PBC, LT-NBD was carried out over 14 months, with complete resolution of pruritus.This case series supports the efficacy of LT-NBD in the treatment of intractable pruritus. We propose that NBD offers an accessible modality for the treatment of intractable pruritus in liver disease, potentially avoiding the need for liver transplantation.
Project description:Patient-reported outcome measures (PROMs) provide an important complement to physician-assessed clinical outcome measures in dermatologic diseases such as atopic dermatitis (AD) and chronic hand eczema (CHE). AD and CHE are chronic and relapsing inflammatory skin conditions that often co-occur. While both diseases result in various signs and symptoms that are burdensome and can negatively affect patients' lives, there may be distinct differences in the signs, symptoms, burden, and health-related quality of life (HRQOL) impact of these diseases. The objective of this study was to identify and evaluate PROMs used in studies of AD and CHE. The aim was to explore the assessment of key symptoms and impacts, and identify any gaps in the measures in use. A structured review of the PubMed database was conducted to identify PROMs used or developed for use in AD or CHE. The Dermatology Life Quality Index (DLQI), the Pruritus/Itch Numeric Rating Scale (NRS), the Patient-Oriented Eczema Measure (POEM), and the Quality of Life in Hand Eczema Questionnaire (QOLHEQ) were identified and reviewed in detail. With these measures, the AD and CHE symptoms and impacts most commonly evaluated in the literature include dermatology-related HRQOL in the domains of symptoms and feelings, daily activities, leisure, work and school, personal relationships, and adverse effects; pruritus; sleep disturbance; AD-specific symptoms (dryness, itching, flaking, cracking, bleeding, and weeping/oozing); and CHE-specific symptoms (pain, itch, fissuring, redness, bleeding, and dryness). A review of regulatory labels of drugs approved for AD by the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) found that, among the four measures reviewed, the Pruritus NRS was included in the FDA and EMA labels for dupilumab, the DLQI was included in the EMA labels for dupilumab and tacrolimus, and the POEM was included in the EMA label for dupilumab. Key symptoms of AD (e.g. itching, flaking, cracking) and CHE (e.g. pain, itching, fissuring) are increasingly being assessed with PROMs; however, primary endpoints in clinical trials are often based on clinician-reported outcome measures. As therapeutic strategies in dermatology are targeted at specific dermatologic symptoms and diseases affecting specific sites (e.g. CHE), future research should explore patients' experiences with these symptoms and sites and the changes with treatment that are most meaningful to them.