AASLD Highlights

The AASLD Guide to Liver Sessions at DDW 2015 is available here.

$ Hepatology Update: The Year in Review

Moderators: Paul Martin, MD, FAASLD and Michael H. Nathanson, MD, PhD, FAASLD
Saturday, May 16, 2015, 2–5 p.m.

This program aims to improve patient care by increasing clinicians’ awareness of recent research that strengthens current clinical care protocols. Investigators will discuss new discoveries that advance the field of hepatology. This program represents a unique opportunity for expert hepatologists to summarize clinical and basic research publications on topics that are highly relevant to the practice of hepatology and liver-based research.

Upon completion of this activity participants will be able to:

  • Discuss the most recent advances in treatment of viral hepatitis, NAFLD and HCC.
  • Discuss the newest concepts for organ allocation in liver transplant.
  • Discuss the most recent advances in the diagnosis and management of the complications of end-stage liver disease.

Registration Fees 

Registration Type

On Or Before
April 1
After April 1
AASLD Member $100 $150
Nonmember $200 $250


Preliminary Schedule


2 p.m. Welcome and Introduction
2:05 p.m. Decompensated Cirrhosis
2:35 p.m. Hepatocellular Carcinoma
3:05 p.m. Fatty Liver Disease
3:35 p.m. Break
3:55 p.m. Viral Hepatitis
4:25 p.m. MELD and Organ Allocation
4:55 p.m. Wrap-up

Plenary Sessions

Sunday, May 17, 2015, 8–9:30 a.m. and 10–11:30 a.m.

The best abstracts in basic and clinical hepatology will be presented at these highly focused sessions.

Clinical Symposia

Hepatitis C Recommendations for 2015

Sunday May 17, 2015, 10–11:30 a.m.

This session will be a comprehensive overview of HCV treatment options that will be available for clinical use in 2015. HCV treatment is a rapidly evolving area and the information is not easy to access in many GI practices. This session will provide an expansion of clinical knowledge and will draw from the HCV guidelines developed by AASLD and IDSA.

Prospects for Therapy of Hepatic Fibrosis

Sunday May 17, 2015, 10-11:30 p.m.

The emergence of the fatty liver disease epidemic and associated hepatic fibrosis has created an urgent need to gain insights into mechanisms underlying this condition. Recent advances in clarifying hepatic stellate cell biology and mechanisms of fibrosis progression and regression have raised the realistic expectation for new antifibrotic treatments in the coming years. As a result, a greater understanding of hepatic fibrosis mechanisms and potential treatments is of great interest to practicing clinicians and trainees, including mid-level providers and both specialist and generalist physicians. This program is intended to impart new knowledge about how recent insights into hepatic fibrosis pathogenesis are leading to novel therapeutic approaches. Moreover, the program will review the emerging technologies that will enhance our ability to quantify fibrosis without the need for performing liver biopsy. This information will in future years, but to optimize the design of clinical trials in the largest number of patients in order to safely test the efficacy of candidate antifibrotic drugs.

Non-Cirrhotic Portal Hypertension and Congenital Portosystemic Shunts: Multidisciplinary Approach to Recognition, Evaluation and Management

(Co-provided with NASPGHAN)

Sunday, May 17, 4–5:30 p.m.

Non-cirrhotic portal hypertension (NCPH) and congenital portosystemic shunts (CPSS) are a group of heterogeneous disorders that are increasingly recognized in children and adults due to improved imaging capabilities and the development of innovative diagnostic and therapeutic techniques. The purpose of this program is to improve recognition of patients with NCPH and CPSS among providers specializing in adult and pediatric hepatology and to provide guidance for evaluation and care of affected patients by multidisciplinary teams. The program will present unique perspectives from each specialty to advance the participants’ knowledge in the diagnosis and management of these conditions, thus promoting the health and optimal care of this group of patients.

How Far Do We Go to Eradicate Hepatitis C?

Monday, May 18, 8–9:30 a.m.

Although current HCV treatment is efficacious and will cure many individuals, the degree to which that treatment will penetrate the estimated 130 to 170 million persons around the world with chronic HCV infection is unknown, especially when money available for health care is limited. The purpose of this program is to assess how the existing tools could be used to address this challenge. The emphasis will be based on public health effectiveness of treatment and preventative modalities like vaccination.

Diagnosing and Treating Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease in Childern and Adolescents

Monday, May 18, 2015, 23:30 p.m.

Children and adolescents with NALFD are at high risk of future morbidity and mortality. NAFLD not only leads to end-stage liver disease, but it is also associated with early cardiovascular disease and increased risk of type II diabetes. It is not well established when to initiate screening for diabetes and dyslipidemia in children with NAFLD nor how to treat these comorbidities and NAFLD itself. This clinical symposium will educate practitioners on the current diagnostic tools for NAFLD and for insulin resistance and dyslipidemia in the setting of NAFLD as well as treatment strategies available for patients with NAFLD or a combination of NAFLD, diabetes and dyslipidemia.

Value of Screening for Cirrhosis and Liver Cancer

Monday, May 18, 4–5:30 p.m.

This program will identify methods of cirrhosis (and liver cancer) detection that can be applied to large practices or health-care systems. The learner will become knowledgeable about potential obstacles and solutions to implementing these methods.

Diagnosing and Treating Renal Disease in Cirrhotic Patients

Tuesday, May 19, 8–9:30 a.m.

Patients with cirrhosis are at risk for acute and chronic renal disease. The severity and acuity of renal dysfunction is highly variable and plays an important role in both short-term and long-term prognosis. Recent advances in knowledge and testing have allowed more precise diagnostic accuracy. In addition, novel scoring systems have been developed and emphasize the prognostic importance of even mild renal dysfunction. This clinical symposium will educate practitioners on the diagnostic tools, prognostic importance and treatment strategies available for patients with cirrhosis and renal dysfunction. 

Academic Debates

Tuesday, May 19, 8–10:30 a.m.

The purpose of the program is to challenge gastroenterology trainees and practitioners to think critically about important and controversial issues in hepatology. This will also require that they learn the skill of balanced argument, i.e. factually examining the pros and cons of the issue. It will require consideration of scientific, societal, individual and financial sides to each of the important clinical issues to be debated. This is an entirely new format for AASLD and for DDW that will do more to engage the panels and audience than any of the other formats used in the meeting setting.

Teams of young clinicians representing leading experienced mentor in the field will debate the role of transplant for acute alcoholic hepatitis as well as allocation of hepatitis C treatment at the first annual Academic Debates. This program will bring together young clinicians to present their positions about complex topics to an audience of their peers and mentors.

Upon completion of this activity participants will be able to:

  • Describe the role of liver transplantation in acute alcoholic hepatitis taking into consideration patient outcomes and ethical considerations.
  • List reasons for limiting hepatitis treatment to those with advanced fibrosis taking into account patient outcomes and disease containment as well as other considerations such as societal costs.

Ethnic and Racial Disparities in Liver Disease

Tuesday, May 19, 10–11:30 a.m.

This clinical symposium will educate practitioners on the impact of ethnicity and race in liver disease management and outcomes. In a society that is becoming increasingly diverse and globalized, it is critically important to understand the role of ethnicity and race in the detection, progression and management of liver disease. Ethnicity and race have clearly been shown to mediate biologic and socioeconomic factors that influence outcomes in chronic liver disease and liver transplantation, and awareness of such in clinical practice may aid in closing the disparate gap in outcomes of liver disease and liver transplantation among patients of diverse ethnic and racial groups. 

State-of-the-Art Lectures

Managing Alcoholic Liver Disease

Monday, May 18, 10–11 a.m.
Speaker: Vijay Shah, MD

Upon completion of this activity participants will be able to:

  • Identify approaches to diagnose alcoholic liver disease.
  • Understand treatment options in different prognostic groups.
  • Discern role of liver transplantation in this population.

Non-Invasive Assessment of Fibrosis

Monday, May 18, 2–3 p.m.
Speaker: Nezam H. Afdhal, MD, FAASLD

Upon completion of this activity participants will be able to:

  • Understand the role of non-invasive tests and liver biopsy for staging fibrosis.
  • Recognize limitations of fibrosis tests.
  • Learn how to incorporate testing into clinical care for liver disease patients.

Issues in Hepatitis C: Identification, Access to Care and Cost

Monday, May 18, 4–5 p.m.
Speaker: Nancy Reau, MD, FAASLD

Upon completion of this activity participants will be able to:

  • Discuss current recommendations in HCV screening, performance and limitations.
  • Discuss linkage to care, hurdles and strategies for improvement.

Iron Overload Disease: Misdiagnosed and Misunderstood

Tuesday, May 19, 10–11 a.m.
Speaker: Kris V. Kowdley, MD, FACP, FAASLD

Upon completion of this activity participants will be able to:

  • Recognize the clinical features and longterm complications of iron overload.
  • Describe the appropriate diagnostic workup for patients with iron overload.
  • Describe the limitations of current diagnostic testing for hereditary hemochromatosis.

Other AASLD Programming

Research/Topic Fora, held Sunday, May 17, through Tuesday, May 19, will offer opportunities for presentation of original research and exchange of ideas and data. Topics include:

  • Autoimmune/Cholestatic Liver Disease.
  • Cell and Molecular Biology.
  • Hepatitis B and C.
  • Liver Transplantation.
  • Viral Hepatitis.

AASLD General Learning Objectives

  • Provide a forum for the exchange of new scientific and clinical information relevant to the study of liver disease.
  • Create an arena for the interchange of opinions regarding the care and management of all types of liver disease.
  • Assess new diagnostic or therapeutic techniques related to liver disease. 

$ = An additional fee is required for this session.