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Alcoholic Hepatitis: Pathogenesis, Diagnosis and Treatment

Ludovico Abenavoli, Mario Masarone, Alessandro Federico, Valerio Rosato, Marcello Dallio, Carmela Loguercio, Marcello Persico
Reviews on Recent Clinical Trials 2016, 11 (3): 159-66
27457347
Alcohol represents the oldest substance of abuse known and Alcoholic Liver Disease (ALD) is the most common cause of chronic liver disease worldwide. The ALD includes a wide spectrum of injury and may lead progressively from simple steatosis to frank cirrhosis. The ALD diagnosis may be hard and it is mainly defined by the history of chronic alcohol intake, physical and laboratory abnormalities suggestive of liver disease. Abstinence is the cornerstone of ALD therapy. Although the burden on health of ALD is not negligible, in the last decades few therapeutic advances have been made. Because of the complex pathogenetic mechanisms, the therapy of ALD and especially of severe Alcoholic Hepatitis (AH), represents a thorny problem in the clinical practice. In severe forms of acute AH, some specific drug treatments, including glucorticoids or pentoxifylline, have been defined and are, at the moment, recommended by international guidelines. On the contrary, specific long-term treatments of ALD, aimed at stopping the progression of fibrosis, are not yet approved.

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