Problématique: La sarcopénie (perte de masse et de fonction musculaires) affecte 30 à 70% des patients atteints de maladie hépatique chronique (cirrhose). Un Canadien sur 4 souffrirait de maladie hépatique. Chez les patients cirrhotiques, la présence de la sarcopénie avant et après la transplantation hépatique (TH) serait associée à un mauvais pronostic. Objectif : Le but général de cette étude rétrospective en cours est de déterminer, chez les patients cirrhotiques, la prévalence de la sarcopénie avant la TH ainsi que son impact sur le pronostic après la TH. Méthodologie : Notre étude vise l’inclusion de 100 patients cirrhotiques de diverses étiologies. L’évaluation de la masse musculaire avant la TH s’effectue en utilisant l’index musculaire squelettique lequel est basé sur l’analyse de l’examen radiologique de tomodensitométrie (CT-scan) au niveau de la 3e vertèbre lombaire. La durée de l’hospitalisation, la fréquence d’infections et le nombre de réadmissions durant la première année post-TH sont également recueillis par la consultation des dossiers médicaux. Résultats attendus: Nous anticipons que la sarcopénie soit répandue chez les patients cirrhotiques à l’étude. Sa présence pourrait être associée à une durée d’hospitalisation prolongée, à de fréquentes infections et à des réadmissions récurrentes. Discussion : Une prise en charge de la sarcopénie pourrait s’avérer primordiale si sa présence influence le pronostic des patients suite à la TH.
Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is a common and debilitating neuropsychiatric complication of liver disease characterized by a constellation of symptoms, including cognitive, psychiatric and motor disturbances. One of the causes of liver disease is alcoholic cirrhosis, which can induce acquired cerebellar degeneration syndrome, atrophy of the cerebellum producing symptoms of ataxia and motor difficulties. In the literature, very few experimental studies concern the role of alcohol on the development of HE. Here we examine the effects of ethanol on bile duct ligation (BDL) rats, a HE model, using a variety of behavioral tasks on motor coordination, open field behavior and memory. BDL rats were subjected to double ligation on the common bile duct with dissection between the ligatures, sham-operated rats underwent the same surgery except for ligation. We first effectuated a dose-response study (N=4-5) in BDL rats to determine the optimal dosage regimen of ethanol. 7 days after surgery, BDL rats were given ethanol by intragastric gavage with 1, 2, 4, 6 and 8 g/kg or saline over a 4-weeks period. Crews Scale and blood ethanol concentration were checked weekly. The accelerating rotarod was used to assess motor coordination. Then the dose regimen of intermittent exposure of 2X3g/kg 3h apart 5 days per week during 4 weeks was chosen to further elucidate the evolution of neurological deficits in both BDL rats and their sham operated controls. The behavioral assessments were performed at 7, 14, 21, 28 and 35 days, one day after blood ethanol concentration dropped to zero of each treatment cycle. Rats were assigned to the following groups (N=9-10): Sham + saline, Sham + ethanol, BDL + saline, BDL + ethanol. The baseline of rotarod performance and gait analysis parameters (at 7 days) showed there were no difference among groups before ethanol gavage. However, BDL + ethanol group rats had gradually impaired coordination performance and motor activity, contrary to those of Sham+ ethanol group who improved their performance gradually by learning. No significant differencet was observed in gait analysis. In addition, blood ethanol concentration over time showed a different metabolism mode in BDL compared with that of Sham + ethanol rats. The changes in coordination performance of BDL+ethanol rats might be associated with some biomolecular changes in the brain. The fact that the front cortex water content in these rats slightly increased as well as the weight of cerebellum reduced suggests that neuroinflammation and cerebellar atrophy might be involved in. Results of the current study indicate heavy alcohol ingestion impairs gradually motor coordination during cirrhosis. BDL rats treated with alcohol allowed perform studies on motor alterations in less than 5 weeks, will be an efficient animal model for the study of HE induced by ethanol and for the search of new treatment strategies.
Hepatic encephalopathy (HE) is a common and severe complication of liver failure. The pathogenesis of HE is linked with gut-derived ammonia (NH3). The standard care for patient experiencing episodes of HE is lactulose but observance is poor due to uncomfortable side-effects. Rifaximin is a potent candidate but there is no clinical study that assess its efficiency solely. This study aim to assess, in a bile-duct ligation (BDL) model of HE, the efficiency of rifaximin to reduce plasma NH3 and ameliorate HE status. 3 wks after BDL surgery, all animals were sorted in 5 grps: SHAM-Veh, BDL-Veh, BDL-Lac, BDL-Rif, BDL-Lac+Rif. Ttm was given by gavage for 3 wks with vehicle, lactulose, rifaximin and the combination of both ttm. Survival, body-weight, food consumption and body composition was assess every wk. During the ttm, behavioral analysis was done to assess the HE status, including OFT, EPM, Rotarod, NOR and night activity. At the end of the study, brain water was measured and plasma sample was taken. No difference was seen in the survival, growth, food consumption or body composition between BDL-grps. In the last wk the free water was increased in all BDL rats. No difference was seen in any grps regarding behavioral tests nor was any evidence of brain edema. NH3 level was increased in BDL treated with either lactulose or rifaximin compare to SHAM but surprisingly not with vehicle. The biochemistry parameters confirm the onset of cirrhosis in BDL grps. This study don’t present strong, reliable and sufficient data to conclude on the efficacy of rifaximin. Future direction will aim to increase the dose of drug; reduce the duration of the model; trigger an episode of HE before ttm.