Alcoholic hepatitis: current management.

Erin K.J. Spengler, Jeffrey Dunkelberg, Ron Schey

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

17 Scopus citations


Alcoholic hepatitis is an acute manifestation of alcoholic liver disease with mortality as high as 40-50% in severe cases. Patients usually have a history of prolonged alcohol abuse with or without a known history of liver disease. Although there is significant range in severity at presentation, patients with severe alcoholic hepatitis typically present with anorexia, fatigue, fever, jaundice, and ascites. The use of either pentoxifylline or corticosteroids in those with severe disease (Maddrey's discriminate function >32) has significant mortality benefit. The addition of N-acetylcysteine to corticosteroids decreases the incidences of hepatorenal syndrome, infection, and short-term mortality, but does not appear to significantly affect 6-month mortality. Nutritional support with high-calorie, high-protein diet is recommended in all patients screening positive for malnutrition. Liver transplantation for a highly selected group of patients with severe alcoholic hepatitis may be an option in the future, but is not currently recommended or available at most transplant institutions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2357-2366
Number of pages10
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2014
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology


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