Background and aims: Alcoholic liver disease continues to be a major health problem with respect to both morbidity and mortality. To understand the clinical syndromes of alcoholic liver disease, this review highlights the papers on both clinical and basic research of alcoholic liver disease, especially on steatosis, alcoholic hepatitis and fibrosis.
Methods: The various forms of alcoholic liver disease are described, and knowledge about the clinical and pathophysiological features of different stages of alcoholic liver disease are summarized.
Results: Clinical studies combined with basic research have established a spectrum of alcoholic liver disease from steatosis to steatohepatitis, fibrosis, and cirrhosis. New insights into the pathogenesis of alcoholic liver disease include the key roles of the excess production of cytokines, reactive oxygen species, and the shortage of protective mediators, including adiponectin.
Conclusion: These new insights will lead to new specific therapies for the treatment of alcoholic hepatitis and alcoholic liver fibrosis.
Copyright 2005 S. Karger AG, Basel.