The British Association for the Study of the Liver is a multi-disciplinary society with around 850 members composed of interested individuals from clinical medicine, clinical and basic research and allied professions.
Dr Luke Boulter (centre) winner of the BASL Dame Sheila Sherlock Prize Lecture in 2015, he is pictured here with his team David Wilson (left) and Ronan Mellin (right). The Prize Lecture took place this year at the Basic Science Retreat where Dr Boulter was presented with a crystal award and £1,000.
Dr Tom Bird winner of the BASL Andy Burroughs Young Investigator Award 2015. This is a new award given in honour of the late Professor Andrew Burroughs. Dr Bird presented a 30 minute lecture at the BLTG Meeting and was awarded a crystal award and £1,000.
Find out more
Find out more about the work of our committee sub-groups and forums by clicking the logos below. These include The British Viral Hepatitis Group, British Association for the Study of the Liver Nurse Forum and the British Liver Transplant Group.
The British Viral Hepatitis aims to improve the management and study of patients with chronic viral liver disease, bringing together UK hepatologists, gastroenterologists, infectious disease physicians, virologists and interested epidemiologists.
British Association for the Study of the Liver Nurse Forum is a professional nursing organisation aiming to develop knowledge and understanding of liver disease, in order to improve the quality of patient care.
The BLTG (British Liver Transplant Group) was launched in 2014 to represent the professional interests of liver transplantation in the UK and promote strategic and academic development.
BASL is a multi-disciplinary society with around 850 members composed of interested individuals from clinical medicine, clinical and basic research and allied professions. Your Annual subscription is used to organise the Annual Meeting held each September.
Members of BASL receive the following benefits:
- discounted registration rates for the annual meeting and other relevant meetings
- eligibility for the BASL Travel Awards (for members below status of Senior Lecturer or Consultant to allow presentation of high-quality UK liver research at International meetings, including the American Association for the Study of Liver Disease)
- eligibility for the prestigious Dame Sheila Sherlock Award (to an emerging researcher in the field of liver disease, for members below status of Senior Lecturer or consultant). Applications are usually submitted to the BASL Committee three months prior to the annual meeting - details are announced.
Click here to find out more about joining us.
A new study suggests that many people with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) may be at risk of diabetes mellitus (DM).
Researchers retrospectively analyzed 118 Japanese patients diagnosed with AIH from 1990 to 2014 at Nihon University School of Medicine. The prognosis of patients with and without DM was also compared.
Twenty-nine patients had DM and 21 received corticosteroids. The annual cumulative incidence rate of newly diagnosed DM was 1.2%. Multivariate analysis showed that DM occurred in older patients (odds ratio 6.290) and with higher serum immunoglobulin G levels (odds ratio 12.400).
A Cox hazard regression analysis revealed that predictive factors for DM were absence of other autoimmune diseases (odds ratio 0.171), use of corticosteroids (odds ratio 6.693) and lower platelet counts (odds ratio 1.873).
The 10-year survival rates of the DM and non-DM groups were 94.1% and 94.6%, respectively. There was no significant difference between these groups.
Prevalence and risk factors of diabetes mellitus in patients with autoimmune hepatitis. Matsumoto N, Ogawa M, Matsuoka S et al. Intern Med. 2016;55(8):879-85
As a probable result of obesity, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the most common form of chronic liver disease seen in children today, say US reviewers.
The reviewers, from Alfred I duPont Hospital for Children, Wilmington and the Thomas Jefferson University, write that childhood obesity has reached epidemic proportions, and by 2012, more than one third of American children were overweight or obese. As a result, increasingly children are developing complications of obesity including liver disease. In fact, NAFLD disease is the most common form of chronic liver disease seen in children today.
Recently, there has been a burgeoning literature examining the pathogenesis, genetic markers, and role of the microbiome in this disease.
On the clinical front, new modalities of diagnosing hepatic steatosis and hepatic fibrosis are being developed to provide non-invasive methods of surveillance in children. Lastly, the mainstay of treatment of paediatric NAFLD has been largely through lifestyle interventions, namely, dieting and exercise. Currently, there are a number of clinical trials examining novel lifestyle and drug therapies for NAFLD that are registered with the US National Institutes of Health ClinicalTrials.gov website.
Paediatric non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Uppal V, Mansoor S, Furuya KN.Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2016 May;18(5):24
In chronic HBV patients receiving cytotoxic chemotherapy, telbivudine (LdT) showed lower clinical efficacy in viral suppression than entecavir (ETV) but was associated with greater extent of improvement in liver and renal functions, a new study found.
A total of 290 treatment-naïve chronic HBV patients undergoing intense chemotherapy at Tuen Mun Hospital, Hong Kong received daily 600 mg of LdT or 0.5 mg of ETV as pre-emptive antiviral chemoprophylaxis.
The ETV group had significantly higher proportion of patients with undetectable HBV DNA load compared to LdTat week 24 (72.99% compared to 50.33%). The cumulative rates of virological breakthrough in the LdT and ETV groups were 9.15% and 3.65% at the second year, respectively; this was associated with undetectable HBV DNA at week 24.
Compared with the ETV group, Model for End-stage Liver Disease score (year one: 4.53 versus 7.53) and estimated glomerular filtration rates (eGFRs) (year one: 118.17 versus 91.79 mL/min; year two: 111.14 versus 76.45 ml/min) in the LdT group were significantly improved from baseline after the first year. Moreover, a significant number of patients with impaired renal function had improved eGFRs after LdT than ETV treatment (32.68% versus 8.76%).
Comparison of clinical efficacy and renal safety of telbivudine and entecavir in chronic hepatitis B patients receiving cytotoxic chemotherapy. Law ST, Lee MK, Lee AS et al. J Dig Dis. 2016 Apr 16 [Epub ahead of print]
Metabolic disorders appear to be the biggest risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and have increased in the last decade, new US evidence suggests.
Researchers at the National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, used data from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results-Medicare linkage to calculate population attributable fractions (PAFs) for each risk factor over time. A total of 10, 708 patients with HCC who were diagnosed between 2000 and 2011 were compared with 332,107 cancer-free controls residing in the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results areas.
Overall, the PAF was greatest for metabolic disorders (32%), followed by HCV (20.5%), alcohol (13.4%), smoking (9%), HBV (4.3%), and genetic disorders (1.5%). The PAF for all factors combined was 59.5%. PAFs differed by race/ethnicity and sex. Metabolic disorders had the largest PAF among Hispanics (PAF, 39.3%) and whites (PAF, 34.8%), whereas HCV had the largest PAF among blacks (PAF, 36.1%) and Asians (PAF, 29.7%).
Between 2000 and 2011, the PAF of metabolic disorders increased from 25.8% to 36%. In contrast, the PAFs of alcohol-related disorders and HCV remained stable.
Population attributable fractions of risk factors for hepatocellular carcinoma in the United States. Makarova-Rusher OV, Altekruse SF, McNeel TS et al. Cancer.
The Institute of Alcohol Studies has put together a briefing that summarises the decisions taken on alcohol in this year's Budget, and evaluates their likely impact. It also sets these policies in the context of recent history- following four years of real term cuts to duty: cheaper alcohol, lower Treasury revenues, increased illness and death, and no demonstrable benefits for pubs or exports.
To download the briefing please click here: Download IAS Budget 2016 Analysis.pdf
A study from the University of Athens suggests a potentially synergistic effect of smoking and chronic HCV on the atherosclerotic process.
Researchers evaluated platelet microparticle (PMP) levels before and after treatment with pegylated-interferon-alfa and ribavirin in 28 chronic HCV patients compared with 20 non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) patients and 20 healthy volunteers.
Twenty-four of the HCV patients achieved sustained virological response (SVR). PMP levels were determined at baseline in HCV and NAFLD patients, and the volunteers, at end-of-treatment (EOT) and 24 weeks post-treatment (SVR24) in the HCV patients.
PMP levels at baseline were higher in the HCV than in the NAFLD patients and volunteers. Higher PMPs at baseline were observed in smokers than non-smokers with HCV. Among smokers from all groups, PMPs at baseline were higher in the HCV than the NAFLD patients or volunteers.
In the HCV patients, PMPs declined from baseline to both EOT and SVR24. Only HCV patients with SVR had a significant decline in PMPs from baseline to SVR24. PMPs at ΕΟΤ and SVR24 in all HCV patients were similar to PMPs in NAFLD patients and volunteers.
The researchers concluded that PMP levels are increased in HCV patients, particularly smokers, which further supports the atherosclerotic potential of HCV and suggests a potentially synergistic effect of smoking and HCV on the atherosclerotic process. Since PMP levels in HCV patients with SVR were similar to NAFLD patients and volunteers, the atherosclerotic potential of HCV seems to be abolished by effective antiviral treatment.
The significance of platelet microparticles in patients with chronic hepatitis C and their association with antiviral treatment and smoking. Kanellopoulou T, Alexopoulou A, Kontopidou FN et al. Ann Gastroenterol. 2016 Apr-Jun;29(2):201-7
A study found that patients with compensated HCV cirrhosis who achieved a sustained virologic response (SVR) when treated with interferon (IFN) had a survival rate similar to the general population.
Researchers studied surveillance data from three cohorts of Italian patients with compensated HCV cirrhosis who achieved SVR on an IFN-based regimen, compared to simultaneously observed non-SVR, untreated and decompensated patients. Overall survival was calculated from the date of start of IFN to death.
Overall, 28 of 181 patients followed-up for a median period of 9.6 years died. The 10 and 20-year overall survival rates for the whole series were 90.9% and 62.9%, respectively. The number of expected deaths in the corresponding age and sex matched general population was 28.1, corresponding to a standardized mortality ratio (SMR) of 1.00, with an SMR for non-SVR patients of 3.85, for untreated of 3.01 and for decompensated of 6.70.
Survival of patients with HCV cirrhosis and sustained virologic response is similar to the general population. Bruno S, Di Marco V, Lavarone M et al. J Hepatol. 2016 Mar 23 [Epub ahead of print]
A study in Taiwan found that high concentrations of arsenic in drinking water significantly increased the risk of hepatitis or cirrhosis in people without chronic viral hepatitis. However, the study also found that, in people with chronic viral hepatitis, lower levels significantly reduced the risk.
Researchers examined associations between exposure of arsenic in drinking water and risk of hepatitis and cirrhosis, and the interaction with chronic viral hepatitis, in 4,387 people living in the Lanyang Basin of northeastern Taiwan, where well water has an arsenic content that ranges from undetectable to 3590 μg/L.
The prevalence odds ratios in the overall study population for chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis for well water arsenic concentrations of =10 μg/L were 1.00 (reference), 0.93 for 10.1-49.9 μg/L, 1.24 for 50.0-99.9 μg/L, 0.98 for 100.0-299.9 and 1.86 for =300.0 μg/L.
Increasing levels of arsenic in drinking water were associated with increasing prevalence of chronic hepatitis or cirrhosis in residents who were seronegative for HBsAg and seronegative for anti-HCV, but not for seropositive for either HBsAg or anti-HCV.
In individuals who were seropositive for HBsAg or anti-HCV, there was an inverse association between hepatitis or cirrhosis and consumption of water with levels of arsenic =100.0μg/L. Among participants who were seropositive for HBsAg or anti-HCV, consumption of water with levels of arsenic =100.0 μg/L was associated with a reduced risk of liver cancer (multivariate-adjusted hazard ratio, 0.29). A higher proportion of individuals exposed to cumulative arsenic level >14,000μg/L× year were carriers of inactive HBV and were positive for HBsAg (60%) than individuals exposed to water below this arsenic level (35%).
Effects of arsenic in drinking water on risk of hepatitis or cirrhosis in persons with and without chronic viral hepatitis. Hsu LI, Wang YH, Hsieh FI et al. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2016 Apr 6 [Epub ahead of print]
On Tuesday May 3rd 2016 there will be an ILTS 2016 Live Demonstration which is a related program to the ILTS 2016 Congress.
Below is some basic information on the ILTS 2016 Live Demonstration:
Title: ILTS 2016 Live Demonstration
Date: May 3 (Tue), 2016
Venue: Grand Ballroom, 5 Fl., Grand InterContinental Hotel, Seoul, Korea
Live Demonstration Hospitals: Asan Medical Center, Seoul National University Hospital
Program: Living Donor Liver Transplantation
Please note the change of venue
Click here to visit the website to view the programme and find out how to register for the ILTS 2016 Live Demonstration.
The 22nd Annual Congress of the International Liver Transplantation Society (ILTS) takes place on 4 - 7 May 2016 in Coex, South Korea.
The Congress brings together over 1200 professionals from over 40 countries who are dedicated to promoting and learning about the scientific advances in liver transplantation. The goal of this Congress is to broaden the education of scientists, surgeons, anaesthesiologists, physicians, nurses, and organ procurement personnel in the care and treatment of liver transplant patients.
Click here to visit the website to find out further information and to register.
Hepatology Postgraduate Course
Venue: The Atrium - The Royal Free Hospital
A curriculum based course in Hepatology for Medical/Surgical GI trainees and other healthcare professionals and comprehensive clinical update for consultants.
To find out more information and to register click here.
This course is endorsed by BASL.
Dr Gideon Hirschfield and Dr James Ferguson, on behalf of the Birmingham Liver Unit, are organising a Liver Course in Birmingham on 26-27 May 2016, to be hosted at the Medical School, University of Birmingham, for colleagues from across all specialties who work locally, regionally and nationally.
The full programme covers practical and pressing issues in the management of advanced liver disease with speakers from around the country who are experts in their field. Using an interactive approach, for the fourth year running, we are sure this course will prove to be very popular and of interest to trainees, consultants, nurses and allied health professionals.
To view the prgramme and to find out how to register click here.
The International Co-infection Workshop in Berlin is a two day abstract-driven meeting consisting of invited lectures, oral abstract presentations and poster viewing sessions.
In order to ascertain an interactive workshop setting, time is allocated to Q&A sessions and discussions. The target audience consists of clinicians involved in daily care for co-infected patients; researchers, PhD students and all those interested in the best treatment possibilities of co-infected patients. The workshop is a clinically focused meeting where world experts are present to share their experience and discuss their data. The cross-disciplinary sharing of information between hepatologists and infectious disease experts creates a unique opportunity to further improve the daily management of HIV and Hepatitis co-infected patients.
For more information and to find out how to register click here.
BASL members will receive a 25% discount on the registration fee - enter the following code when you register - 12CO-BA.
The 5th APASL Single Topic Conference on Hepatitis C will be held at Kaohsiung Exhibition Center in Kaohsiung, Taiwan from June 10-12, 2016.
Early Bird Registration & Abstract Submission is Now Open. The deadline for abstract submission has been extended to 30th April 2016.
APASL STC in HCV Kaohsiung in Taiwan 2016 is organized by The Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver (APASL) and The Taiwan Association for the Study of the Liver (TASL). The conference will focus on viral hepatitis, specifically in the field of the knowledge on Hepatitis C virus. The overall theme will include to present vigorous researches and clinical experiments in hepatology as well as all aspects aiming for a better understanding of the Hepatitis C virus infection in practical preventions to a breakthrough in advanced treatments.
Please click here to visit the website for more information.
Booking is now open for the BVHG meeting at The Royal College of Surgeons, Edinburgh.
The recent BVHG meetings have been very successful, looking at a range of issues in viral hepatitis care, research, therapy and immunosuppression. We are continuing our themes by having this meeting examining the developments in Hepatitis B and E. Clinicians with significant experience in these fields will update us on present knowledge and practice and we hope that you can join us.
To view the programme and to book click on the link below.
The Institute of Liver Studies at the King's College Hospital, London will be hosting a two day meeting focused on current liver medicine and scientfic knowledge with a strong view on developments likely in the near future. The meeting will acknowledge the 50th year of the 'King's Liver Unit’.
The scientfic programme will be led by King's College Hospital Liver Team to bring together an international faculty of alumni, research collaborators and associates from centres of excellence and leading the field of liver research and medicine.
The programme will look at the specialty's achievements to date and celebrate the advancement in Transplantation, Liver Molecular Genetics, Liver Immunopathology and Hepatocyte Biology through to reviewing established and innovative therapies for liver disease, including new surgical techniques. The programme will encompass adult and paediatric specialities.
Visit www.kingslivercourse.org and register your interest.
Applications are invited for two Clinical Research Fellows in Hepatology posts - Derriford Hospital, Plymouth - see the BASL News page for more details.
On behalf of all BASL members I would like to welcome Dr James Ferguson who will take on the role of Treasurer from September 2016 after the annual meeting in Manchester. This is a challenging post and one that needs the strong personal commitment that I know James will provide.
He has a hard act to follow. Prof Matthew Cramp has been an exemplary BASL Treasurer for over 5 years and while welcoming James to his new post I would be remiss in not thanking Matthew on behalf of BASL and the BASL secretariat for his wholehearted commitment.
BASL President, Prof Graeme Alexander
March Newsletter available >here
March Events Update available >here
The BASL Nurse Toolkits were developed following conversations with nurse specialists. These and a later email survey identified training needs to help nurses meet the liver nurse competencies. To access the Learning Toolkits sign in as a BASL Member and click on Manage Account