Background and aims: Current treatment of amatoxin poisoning includes the administration of silibinin and penicillin in combination or silibinin alone. The aim of this study was to compare both therapeutic regimes.
Patients and methods: Of 604 patients with the suspected diagnosis of amatoxin poisoning 367 were retrospectively analysed: 118 patients had received silibinin alone and 249 patients silibinin in combination with penicillin. Logistic regression analyses were applied to investigate the efficacy of both therapeutic regimens by comparing death and liver transplantation rates. A potentially independent effect on outcome of age, sex, year of treatment, latency period of symptoms and start of silibinin therapy was taken into account.
Results: In the group who had received the combination of silibinin and penicillin 8.8% died or underwent liver transplantation compared to 5.1% in the group of those who had received silibinin alone. The risk of death or organ transplantation was thus reduced by nearly 40% in the latter group (adjusted odds ratio: 0.58; 95% CI: 0.21-1.57; p=0.28). A longer latency period (< or =12h vs. >12h) was associated with a significant reduction of this risk (adjusted OR.: 6.10; 95% CI:1.77-21.3; p=0.004). A later start of silibinin therapy (>24h vs. < or = 24h) was associated with a tendency toward an increased frequency of death or organ transplantation (adjusted OR.: 3.0; 95% CI: 0.96-9.20; p=0.059).
Conclusions: A lower death and transplantation rate was observed in the silibinin treatment group than in group treated with silibinin combined with penicillin. However, this difference was not statistically significant. The high risk ratio relating to the time-dependent effect of silibinin suggests its efficaciousness in the treatment of amatoxin poisoning. The latency period was assessed as an independent prognostic factor.