DDW News


AASLD programming will highlight latest advances in hepatology

Meena B. Bansal, MD, FAASLD
Meena B. Bansal, MD, FAASLD

AASLD’s educational programming at DDW® is designed to provide a broad education on hot liver disease topics for general gastroenterologists and deeper learning for hepatologists seeking information on the latest research and treatment advances.


“For any clinician who practices the full breadth and scope of gastroenterology, hepatology is a good 25 percent of practice, just like it is on our GI board exam,” said Meena B. Bansal, MD, FAASLD, associate professor of medicine in the division of liver diseases at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, New York, NY. “AASLD presentations give you the opportunity to keep yourself updated in all the important advances in the field of hepatology in just four days.”



AASLD programming begins on Saturday, May 18, with a 90-minute morning symposium, GI and Liver Complications of Immunotherapies, which is jointly sponsored by AGA. Immunotherapies are rapidly moving into multiple areas of clinical practice, but clinicians may not be familiar with some of the GI and liver adverse events associated with this class of agents.


“If you are giving immunotherapy, you need to screen your patients for exposure to hepatitis B, for example,” Dr. Bansal said. “This is practical information for every gastroenterologist.”


Another session with broad interest, Hepatology Update: The Year in Review, offers a succinct and comprehensive update on the recent changes in the clinical practice of hepatology. One of the biggest changes is in organ allocation for transplantation. New criteria are an attempt to more equitably allocate organs across broader geographic areas based on patient need rather than local supply and demand.


Other important changes to be discussed include the gradual decline of hepatitis C as an indication for consultation and the rise of hepatocellular carcinoma and other diseases. Other presentations will explore current and future treatment options for viral and nonviral liver diseases, as well as the latest in portal hypertension treatment.



The second day of AASLD programming opens with Liver Plenary I, which will showcase the top-rated hepatology abstracts submitted to DDW. The 90-minute session will feature several high-impact talks ranging from the use of fecal transplant for hepatic encephalopathy, new mechanistic insights into cholestatic liver disease, deep learning algorithms to predict steatosis in donor organs, the role of fungal dysbiosis in alcoholic hepatitis and the ever-increasing role of telehealth in value-based care.


Clinicians may be interested in a Sunday afternoon state-of-the-art lecture, On the Horizon for Hepatitis B. Current therapies effectively suppress hepatitis B, but a cure is rare, Dr. Bansal noted. That’s poised to change with new approaches and new agents to cure the virus.


Another afternoon session, Role of Gut Microbiome in NAFLD and Progression of Fibrosis, will examine nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), currently one of the hottest topics in liver medicine, Dr. Bansal said. Basic and translational research are moving quickly toward clinical practice, and this symposium will include some of the latest therapies and therapeutic targets in the offing.



Monday’s program opens with Liver Plenary II, which will highligh another set of the highest scoring hepatology abstracts at DDW. Topics will include the emergence of alcohol-related liver failure in young adults, basic mechanistic insights into the role of mast cell regulation on cholestatic liver injury, myofibroblast activation in organ fibrogenesis, extracellular vesicles in promoting monocyte adhesion in NASH, a novel tool to predict liver failure from hepatitis A and the protective effects of aspirin for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients with chronic viral hepatitis.


Two start-of-the-art lectures not to be missed are New Hope for HCC and Drug-Induced Liver Injury in GI Practice. Both sessions are focused on the latest approaches to liver cancer and drug-induced liver injury, still among the leading indications for liver transplantation.



Practical changes in liver transplantation will be discussed Tuesday during the state-of-the-art lecture Liver Transplants for Extended Criteria Recipients. The lecture will focus on three changing boundaries in transplantation: advanced age, addiction to alcohol and tumor burden in patients with hepatic cancer.


Two other AASLD morning sessions, NAFLD and NASH: Clinical and NASH: Diagnostic and Therapeutic Innovations, will bring the cutting edge of clinical research and technology into sharp focus.

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