JOURNAL ARTICLE
RANDOMIZED CONTROLLED TRIAL

Pentoxifylline in severe alcoholic hepatitis: a prospective, randomised trial

Sandeep Singh Sidhu, Omesh Goyal, Monika Singla, K L Bhatia, Rajoo Singh Chhina, Ajit Sood
Journal of the Association of Physicians of India 2012, 60: 20-2
23029716

BACKGROUND: Role of corticosteroids in treatment of severe alcoholic hepatitis (SAH) is controversial. Pentoxifylline (PTX), an inhibitor of TNF, has also been shown to decrease short term mortality in SAH. Aim of this study was to evaluate the effect of PTX on short term mortality, renal and hepatic functions in patients with SAH.

METHODS: Fifty patients with SAH {Maddrey's Discriminant Function (DF) > or = 32} were prospectively enrolled. Twenty five patients received PTX (400 mg orally, three times a day), and 25 received placebo for 4 weeks. Serum tumor necrosis factor (TNF) was measured in both groups.

RESULTS: Baseline characteristics of the two groups were similar. At 4 weeks, mortality in PTX group was lower than that in controls {20% (5/25) versus 40% (10/25) respectively; p = 0.216; RR 0.5; 95% CI 0.19-1.25}. Renal failure was the cause of mortality in 20% (1/5) patients in PTX group, and 70% (7/10) in controls (p = 0.11). Significant reduction in urea, creatinine, DF and TNF was noted in PTX group. Reduction in TNF did not correlate with reduction in creatinine or DF.

CONCLUSIONS: In patients with SAH, PTX leads to a significant improvement in renal and hepatic functions, and a trend towards decreased short term mortality.

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