Published online May 21, 2010. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v16.i19.2435
Revised: February 7, 2010
Accepted: February 14, 2010
Published online: May 21, 2010
AIM: To investigate the early mortality of placebo-treated alcoholic hepatitis patients.
METHODS: Mortality data about alcoholic hepatitis patients who participated in randomized placebo-controlled trials were searched from PubMed, EMBASE, and Cochrane Library, extracted and analyzed.
RESULTS: A total of 661 placebo-treated patients in 19 trials were included. The overall mortality rate was 34.19% with a median observation time of 160 d (range 21-720 d). Hepatic failure, gastrointestinal bleeding and infection were the three main causes of death, accounting for 55.47%, 21.17% and 7.30% of all deaths, respectively. One-month mortality data about 324 placebo-treated alcoholic hepatitis patients in 10 trials were reported with a pooled mortality rate of 20.37%. The one-month mortality rate of patients with moderate to severe alcoholic hepatitis tended to be higher than that of general patients (22.69% vs 10.93%, P < 0.05), whereas no significant difference was observed between the patients from North America or Europe (22.43% vs 18.45%, P > 0.05), neither any difference was found between the studies published before and after 1990 (18.18% vs 21.88%, P > 0.05).
CONCLUSION: Alcoholic hepatitis is a severe liver disease with a high mortality rate, and hepatic failure, gastrointestinal bleeding and infection are the three main causes of death.