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JOURNAL ARTICLE

Alcoholic Hepatitis: A Review

Nooshin Hosseini, Julia Shor, Gyongyi Szabo
Alcohol and Alcoholism: International Journal of the Medical Council on Alcoholism 2019 July 1, 54 (4): 408-416
31219169
Alcoholic liver disease (ALD) represents a spectrum of injury, ranging from simple steatosis to alcoholic hepatitis to cirrhosis. Regular alcohol use results in fatty changes in the liver which can develop into inflammation, fibrosis and ultimately cirrhosis with continued, excessive drinking. Alcoholic hepatitis (AH) is an acute hepatic inflammation associated with significant morbidity and mortality that can occur in patients with steatosis or underlying cirrhosis. The pathogenesis of ALD is multifactorial and in addition to genetic factors, alcohol-induced hepatocyte damage, reactive oxygen species, gut-derived microbial components result in steatosis and inflammatory cell (macrophage and neutrophil leukocyte) recruitment and activation in the liver. Continued alcohol and pro-inflammatory cytokines induce stellate cell activation and result in progressive fibrosis. Other than cessation of alcohol use, medical therapy of AH is limited to prednisolone in a subset of patients. Given the high mortality of AH and the progressive nature of ALD, there is a major need for new therapeutic intervention for this underserved patient population.

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