The foundation of a specialised Hepatology service in the Postgraduate Institute of Medical Education and Research (PGIMER) was laid down in 1967 by Late Professor PN Chuttani, former Director PGIMER and late Dr. DV Datta, former Head, Division of Hepatology. Since then it gradually expanded and reached the status of a separate division of medicine in 1971 and a full fledged Department in 1978.
The Department initially used to give services in the form of specialized hepatic hemodynamic and angiographic investigations to patients with portal hypertension. Presently, the Department provides Upper gastrointestinal endoscopy services for injection sclerotherapy, variceal band ligation, and glue injections in patients with upper gastrointestinal bleeding; lower gastrointestinal endoscopy services for lower gastrointestinal bleeding, and diagnostic and therapeutic biliary (common bile duct stone removal, nasobiliary drainage, plastic and metallic biliary stenting) and pancreatic endoscopy (nasopancreatic drainage and pancreatic duct stenting) in patients with pancreaticobiliary disorders. The Department also provides ultrasound Doppler services for patients with hepatobiliary disorders. The liver lab of the Department is fully equipped to provide the facility of testing a complete range of markers of hepatitis virus from A to E, HBV DNA and HCV RNA estimation, HBV and HCV genotyping, and biliary microscopy.
The Department has significantly contributed in the following fields: Hepatic venous outflow tract obstruction, non-cirrhotic portal fibrosis (NCPF), extrahepatic portal venous obstruction (EHPVO), hepatic encephalopathy including fulminant hepatic failure and minimal hepatic encephalopathy, nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, alcoholic hepatitis, portal biliopathy, ectopic varices (anorectal varices, gallbladder varices and choledochal varices), portal hypertension in pregnancy, management of ascites, microlithiasis, biliary obstruction requiring endoscopic management.
The Department has organized several National Conferences in the past and include: Annual conference of Indian Association of Study of Liver Diseases (INASL) in 1994, Single theme conferences on "Budd-Chiari syndrome" in 1994, "Noncirrhotic portal fibrosis" in 1995, "Hepatic encephalopathy" in 2001, "Hepatocellular carcinoma in 2002, "Fatty liver disease" in 2003 and on "Ascites" in 2005. Current Perspectives in Liver Diseases (CPLD) is a regular feature and is organized jointly every year by our Depatment and the Department of Gastroenterology, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi.
The Department and its faculty have received several national and international awards in recognition of significant contribution in the field of liver diseases. In 1999, the Indian Society of Gastroenterology gave the prestigious Pfizer Amir Chand Trophy to the Department for year 1999-2001 for its research contribution in liver problems.
The faculty of the Department has won National recognition from the highest professional bodies namely the Medical Council of India , Silver Jubilee Research Award under the BC Roy Awards; the Indian Council of Medical Research Awards , namely MN Sen Oration, DV Datta Memorial Oration, Amrut Modi Unichem and Shakuntala Amirchand Prize; Indian Society of Gastroenterology , Olympus Mitra Award, Sisco-Pantex oration, Hoechst Om Prakash Award, Park Davis oration etc and International recognition from World Congress of Gastroentrology , Young Clinician-Scientist Award and from Japanese Society of Gastroenterology, Young Clinician Award. In addition, the faculty is invited to different national and international liver meets on the basis of their contribution in the field of Hepatology. The Department has over the years published more than 450 papers in National and International journals. The Department has conducted many research schemes in collaboration with other departments of the PGIMER and research projects granted by Indian Council of Medical Research, Divison of Science and Technology, and Council of Scientific Research.
The Department has guided several MD and PhD thesis in the field of hepatology. It also gives clinical training to MD (Medicine) and DM (Hepatology) Students.