As hepatology clinical care continues to evolve, all of the recent progress in treating hepatitis C means other conditions that remain difficult to manage have taken more prominence.
“Now that we have very effective treatments for hepatitis C, our focus has shifted to other liver diseases and new approaches of frequent problems seen in patient with chronic liver disease,” Maria Luisa Yataco, MD, Consultant, Transplantation Department, Mayo Clinic Florida.
Dr. Yataco will co-chair “General Hepatology Update” at 2:00 pm Sunday in Hall D along with Kyle E. Brown, MD, Professor of Internal Medicine – Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Iowa’s Carver College of Medicine. The session will offer practical advice on three conditions and emphasize multidiscipline solutions to caring for these patients.
The session will start with Cynthia Levy, MD, Assistant Director for the Schiff Center for Liver Diseases and Program Director for the Transplant Hepatology Fellowship, University of Miami School of Medicine, who will discuss new treatment approaches in primary biliary cholangitis (PBC). One expected topic is what to do for patients who have not had an adequate response to ursodiol.
In the second presentation, Mina O. Rakoski, MD, Specialist in Internal Medicine, Surgery, and Transplant Hepatology, Loma Linda Transplant Institute, will talk about the challenges involved in palliative care for patients with cirrhosis, especially balancing the goals of palliative care with remaining aggressive in trying to secure the patient a transplant.
The final presentation will come from Kymberly Watt, Medical Director of the Liver Transplant Program at the Mayo Clinic Rochester, who will cover strategies for working with obese cirrhotic patients and the best ways to create a plan to tackle obesity in cirrhotic patients.
“This session is for all providers including general gastroenterologists who see patients with cirrhosis who may or may not be ready for transplantation but require palliative care or patients with cirrhosis and obesity who may want to consider bariatric intervention including bariatric surgery,” Dr. Yataco said.
Dr. Brown said that the presenters, each an expert in their area of presentation, will offer new information, guidelines, and insights.
“Some of these topics may be touched on in other sessions, but this session offers more of a broad snapshot of where things are at right now,” Dr. Brown said. “The Liver Meeting® devotes big chunks of the meeting to breaking news in research and basic science. The General Hepatology Update is more focused on updating the nuts and bolts of day-to-day clinical practice.”
Drs. Brown and Yataco served on the AASLD Education Committee. The committee worked as a group to develop this year’s topics for the session, Dr. Brown said, striving to make this session both pertinent and user-friendly for practicing hepatologists by offering a succinct look at important current issues in the field.
“These lectures address situations where it isn’t clear how to utilize all of the options at our disposal or, as in PBC, where there were limited options up until a few years ago to treat those who didn’t respond to our standard medications,” Dr. Brown said. “Now, we’re trying to raise awareness that there are new things that can be done or should be considered in the management of patients with these conditions.”