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MINERVA MEDICA

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Minerva Medica 2017 Jun 09

DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4806.17.05136-9

Copyright © 2017 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

A prognostic evaluation and management of alcoholic hepatitis

Ramesh RANA, Sheng-Lan, WANG, Jing LI, Lu XIA 1, Mei-Yi SONG, Chang-Qing YANG

Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Tongji Hospital, Tongji University School of Medicine, Shanghai, PR China


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Alcoholic hepatitis is an acute and severe form of alcoholic liver disease associated with high morbidity and mortality of 30-50% worldwide, severity ranging from asymptomatic derangement of liver biochemistries to fulminant liver failure or death. Rapidly progressing jaundice and coagulopathy in prolonged excessive alcohol abusers with or without fever, malnutrition, and tender liver are the clinical hallmarks. The prognostic models (MELD, MDF, ABIC, GAHS, Lille’s score) not only predict the short term mortality, but also guide the clinicians to choose appropriate specific therapy (corticosteroid or pentoxifylline) and as a stopping rule if there is no significant benefits of it. MDF score is commonly followed in clinical practice, score of >32 would predict short term mortality of around 20-30% at 1 month and 30-40% within 6 months after presentation. The GAHS on day 1 can predict 28 day overall survival outcome accuracy of 81%, which is comparatively higher than MDF score. Moreover, ABIC score categorizes risk of deaths (based on 90 days) into low risks (0%), intermediate risk (30%), and high risk (75%). Corticosteroid and pentoxifylline have significant benefits in decreasing mortality (corticosteroid improves survival on 28 day and 84 day of 78% and 59%) in severe disease state (MDF >32 or Lille’s score >0.45 or GAHS >9). Corticosteroid is the initial treatment of choice with infections screening before initiating; however, pentoxifylline is better preferred in case of alcoholic hepatitis with severe infections and hepatorenal syndrome. Additionally, combination of corticosteroids and Nacetylcysteine decreases development of hepatorenal syndrome, infections, and short- term mortality. However, the Lille score after corticosteroid therapy of >0.45 after day 7 indicates poor responders or >0.56 indicates null responders. Therefore, in these cases, either therapy has to be stopped or changed to pentoxifylline. In treatment failure cases, liver transplantation is the ultimate option. However, the facilitating of this service in most transplant centers is a challenge. Beside these specific therapies, alcohol abstinence and recommendation of nutritional supplements with high calorie, protein diet and vitamin E, C, thiamine regardless of other treatment plays a prime role in preventing disease progression and survival benefits even in pre and post-transplant cases.


KEY WORDS: Alcoholic hepatitis - Diagnosis - Therapy - Prognosis - Liver transplantation

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Cite this article as

Rana R, Wang SL, Li J, Xia L, Song MY, Yang CQ. A prognostic evaluation and management of alcoholic hepatitis. Minerva Med 2017 Jun 09. DOI: 10.23736/S0026-4806.17.05136-9

Corresponding author e-mail

cqyang@tongji.edu.cn