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World J Hepatol. May 27, 2011; 3(5): 125-129
Published online May 27, 2011. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v3.i5.125
General aspects of the treatment of alcoholic hepatitis
Michael J Babineaux, Bhupinderjit S Anand
Michael J Babineaux, Department of Internal Medicine, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, TX 77555, United States
Bhupinderjit S Anand, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Michael Debakey VA Medical Center, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77555, United States
Author contributions: Babianeux MJ drafted and revised the manuscript; Anand BS supervised and approved the final version.
Correspondence to: Bhupinderjit S Anand, MD, Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Michael DeBakey VA Medical Center, Baylor College of medicine, 2002 Holcombe Blvd, Houston, TX 77030, United States.
Telephone: +1-713-794-7280 Fax: +1-713-795-4471
Received: October 28, 2010
Revised: March 6, 2011
Accepted: March 13, 2011
Published online: May 27, 2011

General measures for treating patients with alcoholic hepatitis (AH) are similar irrespective of the disease severity. Alcohol abstinence is the cornerstone of treatment and can be achieved with appropriate social support, Alcoholics Anonymous and sometimes pharmacological therapy. Alcohol withdrawal should be anticipated and treatment initiated to prevent this complication. Treatment for complications of cirrhosis should be as for any other patient with cirrhosis. AH patients are particularly prone to infections and malnutrition. These should be identified and treated appropriately using broad spectrum antibiotics and nutritional support respectively.

Keywords: Alcoholic hepatitis, Alcohol abstinence, Alcohol withdrawal, Nutritional support, Complications of cirrhosis, Malnutrition, Treatment