Published online Apr 7, 2009. doi: 10.3748/wjg.15.1613
Revised: February 23, 2009
Accepted: March 2, 2009
Published online: April 7, 2009
AIM: To compare the efficacy of pentoxifylline and prednisolone in the treatment of severe alcoholic hepatitis, and to evaluate the role of different liver function scores in predicting prognosis.
METHODS: Sixty-eight patients with severe alcoholic hepatitis (Maddrey score ≥ 32) received pentoxifylline (n = 34, group I) or prednisolone (n = 34, group II) for 28 d in a randomized double-blind controlled study, and subsequently in an open study (with a tapering dose of prednisolone) for a total of 3 mo, and were followed up over a period of 12 mo.
RESULTS: Twelve patients in group II died at the end of 3 mo in contrast to five patients in group I. The probability of dying at the end of 3 mo was higher in group II as compared to group I (35.29% vs 14.71%, P = 0.04; log rank test). Six patients in group II developed hepatorenal syndrome as compared to none in group I. Pentoxifylline was associated with a significantly lower model for end-stage liver disease (MELD) score at the end of 28 d of therapy (15.53 ± 3.63 vs 17.78 ± 4.56, P = 0.04). Higher baseline Maddrey score was associated with increased mortality.
CONCLUSION: Reduced mortality, improved risk-benefit profile and renoprotective effects of pentoxifylline compared with prednisolone suggest that pentoxifylline is superior to prednisolone for treatment of severe alcoholic hepatitis.