Grant: $280,747 - National Institutes of Health - Sep. 28, 2009
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Award Description: This project seeks to develop an approach that will improve the diagnosis of acute liver failure in infants, resulting in significantly improved outcome with medical therapy, and reduced utilization of liver transplantation in pediatric patients. Neonatal hemochromatosis (NH) is the leading diagnosed cause of liver failure in neonates in most series. However, no diagnosis for acute liver failure can be established in up to 40% of infants. The overall objective of this project is to determine the true prevalence of NH as a cause of acute liver failure in infants who are ≤ 90 days of age. The critical gap in scientific knowledge to be overcome before NH?s importance as cause of acute liver failure can be determined is the lack of a sensitive and specific diagnostic biomarker for NH. The biomarker to be studied in this project is the presence of ?anti-fetal hepatocyte IgG antibody? in mothers? or infants? serum. The diagnostic utility of an immunofluorescence assay for this biomarker is to be established and then will be used to assess the prevalence of NH in a population of young infants with acute liver failure. The NIH funded Pediatric Acute Liver Failure (PALF) study has agreed to supply this project with serum samples from their repository, making it feasible to complete the proposed work within the timeframe of two years. The expected results will show that NH constitutes fully 50% of all causes of acute liver failure in young infants. This finding will have a positive impact because NH is responsive to specific medical therapy, which improves outcome over current treatment including liver transplantation. Furthermore, should the test used in this analysis prove to be sensitive and specific for the diagnosis, it could replace current diagnostic approaches and prospectively improve diagnostic accuracy in this setting. Thus, early, precise diagnosis could lead to improved outcome and reduced utilization of liver transplantation.
Project Description: As defined in the Award Description field.
Jobs Summary: The two positions that will be retained in Dr. Whitington?s lab as a result of the Recovery Act funding are research scientists. These research scientists are responsible for developing the quantitative immunofluorescence assay to the serum samples in all phases of this project, performance of immunohistochemistry studies, cell cultures, image acquisition of these studies and data analysis. (Total jobs reported: 0)
Project Status: Not Started
This award's data was last updated on Sep. 28, 2009. Help expand these official descriptions using the wiki below.