Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor in severe alcoholic hepatitis: a randomized pilot study

Virendra Singh, Arun K Sharma, R Lakshmi Narasimhan, Ashish Bhalla, Navneet Sharma, Ratiram Sharma
American Journal of Gastroenterology 2014, 109 (9): 1417-23

OBJECTIVES: Severe alcoholic hepatitis has high short-term mortality. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that treatment of patients with alcoholic hepatitis with granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) might mobilize bone marrow-derived stem cells and promote hepatic regeneration and thus improve survival.

METHODS: Forty-six patients with severe alcoholic hepatitis were prospectively randomized in an open study to standard medical therapy (SMT) plus G-CSF (group A; n=23) at a dose of 5 μg/kg subcutaneously every 12 h for 5 consecutive days or to SMT alone (group B; n=23) at a tertiary care center. We assessed the mobilization of CD34(+) cells on day 6, Child-Turcotte-Pugh (CTP), model for end-stage liver disease (MELD), and modified Maddrey's discriminant function (mDF) scores, and survival until day 90.

RESULTS: There was a statistically significant increase in the number of CD34(+) cells in peripheral blood in group A as compared with group B (P=0.019) after 5 days of G-GSF therapy. There was a significant reduction in median Δ change% in CTP, MELD, and mDF at 1, 2, and 3 months in group A as compared with group B (P<0.05). There was marked improvement in survival in group A as compared with group B (78.3% vs. 30.4%; P=0.001) at 90 days.

CONCLUSIONS: G-CSF is safe and effective in the mobilization of hematopoietic stem cells and improves liver function as well as survival in patients with severe alcoholic hepatitis.

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