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Liver diseases: New ground-breaking diagnostic method in sight? – Naturopathy Naturopathy Specialist Portal

Improved diagnosis of liver disease in prospect?

A novel, microbial-based diagnostic method, seems to be able to identify liver fibrosis and cirrhosis of the liver in humans in over 90 percent of the cases quickly and cost-effectively.

In a recent joint study by the Salk Institute for Biological Studies and the University of California, San Diego a novel diagnostic tool for liver diseases has been tested. The results of the research work have been published in the English journal “Cell Metabolism”.

How widespread chronic liver diseases?


Chronic liver disease is according to the world health organization, a large global public health Problem, of which an estimated 844 million people are affected. Chronic liver diseases in many countries, the most common causes of premature death. A reason for this may be that chronic liver diseases are often not or too late detected, since they cause only in a very advanced stage in the complaints.

A diagnostic tool had an accuracy of 90 percent

The researchers found that the Microbiome (the complex collection of microbes in the gut) may indicate liver disease. Therefore, they have created a microbial-based diagnostic tool. This could be identified in the current study, with an impressive accuracy of 90 per cent of liver fibrosis and cirrhosis of the liver. The non-invasive method is based on an algorithm for the analysis of stool samples from people.

Results could have a global impact


“The Microbiome is a dynamic living Sensor for small changes of health and disease in the body, and as such, it provides an accurate indicator of body health,” says study author Professor Ronald Evans from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in a press release. Since these diagnostics quickly and cost-effectively, could find wide application. Simply put, it could be a real turning point, with global impact, adds the expert.

The non-alcoholic fatty liver disease follow

The non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a worldwide disease is the main cause for chronic liver and can lead to liver fibrosis and cirrhosis of the liver, and in the worst case, to cancer. It unfortunately lacks the diagnostic tools for liver fibrosis and liver cirrhosis. Biopsies are invasive and can miss the affected areas of the liver available. Magnetic resonance imaging is expensive and not available everywhere.

Microbiome for the diagnosis of liver diseases?

In order to find a new way to diagnosis, the research group examined the Microbiome as a way to identify people with an increased risk for liver disease. The researchers attempted to develop a universal, non-invasive Test for liver fibrosis and cirrhosis of the liver, based on a Microbiome signature of the disease. The Team used machine Learning and was able to identify a connection between the disease signature and 19 species of bacteria from stool samples.

Bacteria for the identification of liver fibrosis and cirrhosis of the liver

The signature consists of the different levels of Bacteria, resulting in a quasi-universal fingerprint for the identification of liver fibrosis and cirrhosis of the liver can be created. The study included 163 clinical samples from both healthy as well as sick family members, to identify variables for the presence of liver disease.

Specific microbiome signature note on cirrhosis of the liver

On the basis of data from the genetic profiling of micro-biomes and of metabolites from the stool samples, the researchers discovered also a microbiome signature, the liver cirrhosis can be diagnosed with an accuracy of 94 percent. The microbiome signature could also determine the stage of liver damage.

Impact of intestinal health on liver diseases

“These results show that it is possible to identify, with the help of machine learning is a universal signature that can be used for an accurate diagnosis of a disease, such as cirrhosis of the liver. The pattern we have found, reflect the complexity of the Multiple, and show how intestinal health is likely to affect the disease,” reports study author Tae Gyu Oh.

Microbiome signature in independent patient populations tested

The researchers of the microbiome signature used then on two independent patient populations from China and Italy. The Team was thus able to identify cirrhosis in more than 90 percent of the patients exactly what the efficiency and accuracy of the algorithm is confirmed in a different genetic characteristics and dietary habits.

New method of diagnosis is only at the beginning

It is noteworthy that a gut microbiome signature could be used by people from southern California, and Cirrhosis in two independent cohorts in China and Italy to predict, stressed the research team. The possibilities of the use of the Multiple as a diagnostic tool, in their view, only at the beginning.

Further research is planned

In the future, the causal connection between the Microbiome and liver diseases should be investigated further. For example, to check whether the recovery of Parts of the Multiple leads to a regression of the disease or the removal of certain bacteria aggravates the disease. The researchers hope that this approach can be used for characterization of other diseases, such as inflammatory bowel disease, colon cancer, Alzheimer’s and other diseases that are influenced by a dysreguliertes Microbiome probably. (as)

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