The team investigated the influence of acute and chronic alcohol intake on the clinical course and outcome in acetaminophen overdose.
The findings of the trial were reported in the April issue of Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics.
Some 209 consecutive patients, with single-dose acetaminophen overdose, were studied.
Of these, 27% of the patients had chronic alcohol intake and 22% had acute alcohol intake.
|Relative risks for chronic drinkers:|
Hepatic coma: 5.3
| Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics |
Some 21% of the patients developed hepatic coma, and 44% of these patients died.
Chronic alcohol intake was found to be significantly and independently associated with the development of hepatic coma, with a lower prothrombin index, lower platelet count, higher creatinine, and higher bilirubin.
The relative risks for hepatic coma and death were 5.3 and 1.4, respectively, in the chronic alcohol intake group compared with the non-chronic alcohol intake group.
Acute alcohol intake was not significantly associated with any of the dependent variables studied (death, development of hepatic encephalopathy, and biochemical liver markers).
Dr Frank V. Schiødt, of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas, Texas, concluded on behalf of his group, "Chronic alcohol intake enhances acetaminophen hepatotoxicity, whereas acute alcohol intake does not affect the clinical course."