Treatment of alcohol use disorders in patients with alcoholic liver disease

J Hepatol. 2016 Sep;65(3):618-30. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2016.04.029. Epub 2016 May 4.


Alcohol use disorders (AUDs) is one of the leading causes of disease and disability in almost all European countries. Among the alcohol-related diseases, alcoholic liver disease (ALD) is the most common. At present, alcohol is the most frequent cause of liver cirrhosis in the Western world. The cornerstone of treatment for ALD is achieving total alcohol abstinence and preventing relapse; medical and surgical treatments for ALD are limited when drinking continues. This narrative review summarizes current treatments for AUDs with a particular emphasis to the treatment of AUDs in patients with ALD. Medical management, psychosocial and pharmacological interventions are analyzed, underlying limits and options in AUD patients. Finally, this review discusses the most appropriate setting for the management of AUD patients with advanced liver disease as well as the indications for liver transplantation in AUD patients.

Keywords: Alcohol relapse prevention; Alcohol use disorders; Alcoholic liver disease; Liver cirrhosis; Liver transplantation; Pharmacological interventions; Psychosocial interventions.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Drinking
  • Alcohol-Related Disorders*
  • Europe
  • Humans
  • Liver Diseases, Alcoholic
  • Liver Transplantation