Current management and future treatment of alcoholic hepatitis

Mack C. Mitchell, Thomas Kerr, H. Franklin Herlong

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations

Abstract

Excessive alcohol consumption is responsible for approximately 50% of all deaths due to cirrhosis. Although the duration and amount of alcohol consumption are the primary factors responsible for the liver injury caused by consuming alcohol, the pathogenesis of the 3 stages of alcohol-associated liver disease (ALD)-fatty liver, alcoholic hepatitis (AH), and cirrhosis-is likely multifactorial. Preexisting obesity, dysbiosis of the gut microbiome, activation of proinflammatory cytokines, and genetic factors can all contribute to the risk of developing ALD. The cornerstone of therapy for all stages of ALD is abstinence from drinking alcoholic beverages. Severe AH, defined by a Maddrey discriminant function greater than 32, warrants additional therapy. The results of multiple studies evaluating the use of glucocorticoids in the treatment of severe AH led to guidelines from international societies that recommend glucocorticoid therapy in patients with severe AH without active infection. Liver transplantation provides an effective treatment option for patients who fail glucocorticoid therapy. Recent advances in understanding the pathogenesis of AH have led to the investigation of potential therapies directed at preventing the development of steatosis, inhibiting the innate immune response, modifying the gut microbiome, and stimulating liver regeneration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)178-189
Number of pages12
JournalGastroenterology and Hepatology
Volume16
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2020

Keywords

  • Alcohol use disorder
  • Alcohol-associated liver disease
  • Alcoholic hepatitis
  • Granulocyte-colony stimulating factor
  • Gut microbiome
  • Interleukin 1 receptor antagonist
  • Steatohepatitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology

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