Rechallenge in drug-induced liver injury: the attractive hazard

Expert Opin Drug Saf. 2009 Nov;8(6):709-14. doi: 10.1517/14740330903397378.


Progress in the understanding of drug-induced liver injury (DILI) is clearly hampered by the lack of specific markers of the disease. In this scenario, recrudescence of the liver injury upon re-exposure to the suspicious drug is considered the more reliable evidence of DILI. On-purpose re-exposure, however, entails both practical and ethical issues because the bulk of situations in clinical practice are non-immunoallergic DILI in which a provocation test frequently would give negative results. Besides, deliberate re-exposure with a drug that is not considered vital or essential is potentially harmful and, hence, hardly justified in DILI, and rechallenge is more commonly described in an unintentional basis. The causes, characteristics and consequences of rechallenge have been specifically addressed recently. For causality assessment, a positive rechallenge test carries the strong value, and is accordingly scored by clinical algorithms. Such clinical scales, however, reward drugs that are associated with a positive rechallenge response, but might be considered biased against those where re-administration fails to elicit a response or, more commonly, for which no rechallenge is attempted.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Animals
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / diagnosis*
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Drug-Related Side Effects and Adverse Reactions*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Terminology as Topic
  • Young Adult