The European Association for the Study of the Liver (EASL), a major European Association with international influence dedicated to the liver and liver disease, has organised the event.
Cirrhosis of the liver is due to several causes, among which the most frequent are represented by hepatitis virus infection, excessive alcohol consumption, metabolic syndrome (NASH), and autoimmunity.
The clinical picture of advanced cirrhosis (end-stage liver disease) results from a systemic syndrome that involves almost all organs and apparatuses, and carries a severe prognosis. The clinical manifestations of chronic liver failure, in addition to the consequences of severely impaired liver function and portal hypertension, are attributable to cardiovascular, renal, neurological, respiratory and adrenal abnormalities. In this setting, bacterial infections along with alcohol abuse, are the main causes of acute on-chronic liver failure (ACLF). This entity, which has been recently defined by a multicenter prospective study promoted by the EASL-CLIF Consortium, is characterised by extra-hepatic organ failure and a very high mortality, often requiring intensive care, and urgent liver transplantation.
Many aspects, related to the pathophysiology, prognosis, treatment, organ support and liver transplantation still need to be defined. In this respect, the availability of Interferon-free highly effective therapies of HCV infection promise to bring about a sort of “revolution” in the field of end-stage liver disease, as did nucleoside/nucleotide analogues in patients with HBV infection, representing a life-saving therapy that could also reduce the burden of patients needing liver transplantation. The clarification of the pathophysiological mechanisms leading to ACLF is expected to lead to effective treatment options for this often deadly condition. The most correct and effective prophylaxis and therapy of bacterial infections will also end in improving the survival of patients with end-stage liver disease.
Due to the complex aspects of end-stage liver disease the EASL Special Conference represents a unique occasion to bring together world-wide recognized experts for an integrated discussion of these topics, from which the definition of shared prognostic, diagnostic and therapeutic algorithms, can be confidently expected, resulting in clear means to influence clinical practice.
Topics of discussion at the conference will include:
- Specific treatments
- Pathophysiological background
- Cardinal manifestations
- Bacterial infection
- Intensive care
- Liver transplantation