In conjunction with the sponsor of a new treatment for Non Alcoholic Steatohepatitis (NASH) new state-of-the-art imaging equipment that can scan a patient’s liver for fibrosis has been provided to Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC). The equipment, which costs over $100,000, is part of a clinical trial for the new treatment and will be housed in the hospital’s Radiology Department.
“There has been no liver scanning equipment for this particular condition on Staten Island and patients have had to go off Island for this expensive procedure, which is vital to the evaluation of NASH,” Kavan Patel, MD, principal investigator for the trial, said. “The procedure will be free for patients participating in this clinical trial at RUMC.”
NASH is an advanced form of Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD). NAFLD is caused by buildup of fat in the liver. When this buildup causes inflammation and damage, it is known as NASH, which can lead to scarring of the liver. Scarring of the liver is a potentially life-threatening condition called cirrhosis. While there are often no outward symptoms associated with NASH, the most common symptoms that are reported include fatigue and pain in the upper right abdomen. NASH is most common in patients who are overweight or obese. Additional risk factors include diabetes, high cholesterol, high triglycerides, poor diet, metabolic syndrome, polycystic ovary syndrome, sleep apnea, and an underactive thyroid, or hypothyroidism.
“Prior to the development of this new study drug, there has really been no effective treatments for NASH,” Dr. Patel said. “Our GI specialists have indicated they have many patients suffering with this disease who can be entered into our study, if they meet the criteria.”
According to Dr. Patel, the enrollment period for the on-going trial is one year, with treatments and follow-ups to continue for an additional six years. Anyone interested in learning more about the trial and possible enrollment can contact RUMC’s Clinical Research Department at 718-818-2707.
Richmond University Medical Center (RUMC) is a not-for-profit healthcare provider serving the ethnically diverse community of Staten Island and its neighbors. We provide premier-quality patient care through a full spectrum of emergent, acute, primary, behavioral health and educational services. We do this in an environment that promotes the highest satisfaction among patients, families, physicians and staff. For more information call 1-718-818-1234 or visit www.rumcsi.org. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and Twitter.