Alcoholic liver disease includes a broad clinical-histological spectrum from simple steatosis, cirrhosis, acute alcoholic hepatitis with or without cirrhosis to hepatocellular carcinoma as a complication of cirrhosis. The pathogenesis of alcoholic liver disease can be conceptually divided into (1) ethanol-mediated liver injury, (2) inflammatory immune response to injury, (3) intestinal permeability and microbiome changes. Corticosteroids may improve outcomes, but this is controversial and probably only impacts short-term survival. New pathophysiology-based therapies are under study, including antibiotics, caspase inhibition, interleukin-22, anakinra, FXR agonist and others. These studies provide hope for better future outcomes for this difficult disease.
Keywords: Alcoholic hepatitis; Alcoholic liver disease; Corticosteroids; Intestinal permeability; Microbiome; Sterile necrosis.
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