New paradigms in management of alcoholic hepatitis: a review.

Sidhu SS, Goyal O, Kishore H et al.

Department of Gastroenterology, Dayanand Medical College and Hospital, Ludhiana, Punjab, India.

Hepatology international. Feb 2017.

Severe alcoholic hepatitis (SAH) is defined by modified Maddrey discriminant function ≥32 or Model for End-Stage Liver Disease (MELD) >21 and/or hepatic encephalopathy. It has a 3-month mortality rate ≥30-70 %. Patients with severe alcoholic hepatitis need combined, i.e., static (MELD score) and dynamic (Lille’s score), prognostication. Systemic inflammation and poor regeneration are hallmarks of SAH, rather than intrahepatic inflammation. SAH is characterized by dysregulated and uncontrolled systemic inflammatory response followed by weak compensatory antiinflammatory response that leads to increased susceptibility to infection and multiple organ failure. Massive necrosis of hepatocytes exceeds the proliferative capacity of hepatocytes. Liver progenitor cells proliferate to form narrow ductules which radiate out into the damaged liver parenchyma. Corticosteroids have been the standard-of-care therapy, albeit controversial. However, the recent Steroids or Pentoxifylline for Alcoholic Hepatitis (STOPAH) trial revealed that prednisolone was not associated with a significant reduction in 28-day mortality, with no improvement in outcomes at 90 days or 1 year. A paradigm shift from antiinflammatory therapy such as corticosteroids to liver regeneration treatment, e.g., granulocyte-colony stimulating factor, molecular targeted treatments, and fecal microbiota transplantation, for severe alcoholic hepatitis is taking place. Liver transplantation should be offered to select patients with severe alcoholic hepatitis who are nonresponsive to medical treatment.