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New clinical practice guidelines on alcoholic liver disease published

April 19, 2012

Barcelona, Spain, Thursday 19 April 2012: EASL today announced the publication of a new clinical practice guideline (CPG) in the area of Alcoholic Liver Disease (ALD), bringing the number of CPGs published to date to eight.

ALD, a result of regular and heavy drinking, is the leading cause of liver disease in eastern and western Europe.(1) Europe has the highest alcohol consumption in the world, at 12.18 litres of pure alcohol per person per year.(1) Despite this there has been limited research investment in this area and the development of clinical practice guidelines is therefore both timely and necessary.

The EASL Clinical Practice Guidelines on Alcoholic Liver Disease, build on the issues raised at the Monothematic Conference on Alcoholic Liver Disease, held in Athens in 2010 and have been developed with three main aims. These are to:

  1. Provide physicians with clinical recommendations
  2. Emphasise the fact that alcohol can cause several liver diseases (steatosis, steatohepatitis, cirrhosis), all of which may coexist in the same patient
  3. Identify areas of interest for future research, including clinical trials


The guidelines cover the burden of ALD, management of alcohol abuse and dependence, pathogenesis, risk factors for disease progression, diagnosis, alcoholic hepatitis, alcoholic cirrhosis and liver transplantation. The Clinical Practice Guidelines will be published in August in EASL's Journal of Hepatology.

In addition, EASL has also published a revised CPG on the Management of Chronic Hepatitis B. This update incorporates changes to a number of areas including: new indications for liver biopsy and the treatment of HBeAg-negative patients; the recommendation for less frequent HBV DNA testing under ETV or TDF; and the provision of more detailed recommendations for specific sub-groups, particularly HBV and pregnancy and HBV and immunosuppression.

CPGs define the use of diagnostic, therapeutic and preventive modalities, including non-invasive and invasive procedures, in the management of patients with various liver diseases. They are intended to assist physicians and other healthcare providers, as well as patients and interested individuals, in the clinical decision making process by describing a range of generally accepted approaches for the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of specific liver diseases.

In addition, a CPG is in development for the Management of Acute Liver Failure. More information on EASL's CPGs can be found on the EASL website at http://www.easl.eu/_clinical-practice-guideline.

-end-

Notes to Editors

About EASL

EASL is the leading European scientific society involved in promoting research and education in hepatology. EASL attracts the foremost hepatology experts and has an impressive track record in promoting research in liver disease, supporting wider education and promoting changes in European liver policy.

EASL's main focus on education and research is delivered through numerous events and initiatives, including:
  • The International Liver CongressTM (http://www.easl.eu/_the-international-liver-congress/general-information) which is the main scientific and professional event in hepatology worldwide
  • Meetings including Monothematic and Special conferences, Post Graduate courses and other endorsed meetings that take place throughout the year
  • Clinical and Basic Schools of Hepatology, a series of events covering different aspects in the field of hepatology
  • Journal of Hepatology published monthly
  • Participation in a number of policy initiatives at European level
  • iLiver iPhone app - a free medical app developed by EASL, with content fully authored, validated and accredited by 42 independent liver specialists
About The International Liver CongressTM 2012

The International Liver Congress™ 2012, the 47th annual meeting of the European Association for the study of the Liver, is being held at the Centre Convencions Internacional (CCIB) in Barcelona from April 18 - 22, 2012. The congress annually attracts over 8,000 clinicians and scientists from around the world and provides an opportunity to hear the latest research, perspectives and treatments of liver disease from principal experts in the field.

References

1. Handbook for action to reduces alcohol-related harm. World Health Organization Regional Office for Europe. 2009. http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0012/43320/E92820.pdf. Accessed 04.04.12.

European Association for the Study of the Liver
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