Current Hepatitis Reports

, Volume 12, Issue 1, pp 59–65 | Cite as

Alcoholic Hepatitis: Steroids vs. Pentoxifylline

  • Laura Smart
  • Leila Gobejishvili
  • Neil Crittenden
  • Shirish Barve
  • Craig J. McClain
Complex Clinical Issues (SA Harrison and NS Reau, Section Editors)


Alcoholic hepatitis (AH) remains a major cause of liver-related morbidity and mortality in the United States and is actually increasing in certain areas of Europe. Thus, there is a pressing need for new therapies/approaches. Major barriers for reducing morbidity, mortality, and costs of care include: lack of translational animal and human studies of new therapies for AH; limited trials of combination therapies in AH targeted at specific disease mechanisms (e.g., gut permeability, cytokines, oxidative stress); limited studies on non-invasive, non-mortality end points; few studies on mechanisms of steroid non-responsiveness; and inadequate prognostic indicators, to name only a few. In spite of these gaps, we have made major advances in understanding mechanisms for AH and appropriate therapies for AH. This article reviews mechanisms and rationale for use of steroids and pentoxifylline in AH and future directions in therapy.


Alcoholic hepatitis Steroids Pentoxifylline Steroid resistance 



No potential conflicts of interest relevant to this article were reported.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Laura Smart
    • 1
    • 3
    • 6
  • Leila Gobejishvili
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 7
  • Neil Crittenden
    • 3
    • 6
  • Shirish Barve
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 8
  • Craig J. McClain
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
    • 4
    • 5
    • 9
  1. 1.Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and NutritionUniversity of Louisville School of MedicineLouisvilleUSA
  2. 2.UofL Alcohol Research CenterUniversity of Louisville School of MedicineLouisvilleUSA
  3. 3.Department of MedicineUniversity of Louisville School of MedicineLouisvilleUSA
  4. 4.Department of Pharmacology & ToxicologyUniversity of Louisville School of MedicineLouisvilleUSA
  5. 5.Robely Rex Veterans Affairs Medical CenterLouisvilleUSA
  6. 6.University of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA
  7. 7.University of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA
  8. 8.University of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA
  9. 9.University of LouisvilleLouisvilleUSA

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