Oxidative stress is putatively involved in the pathogenesis of alcohol-induced liver injury.
Dr Stephen Stewart and colleagues from the UK determined whether antioxidant therapy, alone or as an adjunct to corticosteroids, improved survival in patients with acute alcoholic hepatitis.
|Treatment allocation did not affect survival|
|Journal of Hepatology|
The team stratified patients with a severe alcoholic hepatitis by sex and steroid use.
The trial was double blinded and placebo controlled.
The primary end-point was mortality within 6 months.
The researchers randomized 36 patients to receive active drug, and 34 to receive placebo.
The active group received N-acetylcysteine for 1 week, and vitamins A-E, biotin, selenium, zinc, manganese, copper, magnesium, folic acid and Coenzyme Q daily for 6 months.
The research team found that 180-day survival was not significantly different between patients receiving drug and placebo.
This was not affected by stratification for steroid use or sex.
The team noted that the only predictors of survival in multivariate analysis were initial bilirubin, white cell count, and age.
The researchers observed that treatment allocation did not affect survival in multivariate analysis.
Dr Stewart's team concluded, "Antioxidant therapy, alone or in combination with corticosteroids, does not improve 6-month survival in severe alcoholic hepatitis."