The team evaluated the tolerance and effects of infliximab combined with steroids in severe alcoholic hepatitis.
They reported their findings in the October issue of the Journal of Hepatology.
A total of 20 patients with biopsy-proven severe alcoholic hepatitis (Maddrey's score > 32) were included in the study.
Each received prednisone 40mg/day for 28 days and either infliximab 5mg/kg IV (Group A) or placebo (Group B) at baseline.
Histology, plasma interleukin-6 (IL-6), and interleukin-8 (IL-8) were measured at baseline and at day 10.
The team found that infliximab was well tolerated.
|Effects of infliximab with steroids:|
- Improved Maddrey's score
- Reduced IL-6 and IL-8 levels
| Journal of Hepatology |
Histology showed no significant changes.
At day 28, Maddrey's score significantly improved in Group A (39 to 12), but not in Group B (44 to 22).
At day 10, IL-6 and IL-8 levels decreased in Group A (25pg/ml to 4.5pg/ml and 301pg/ml to 146pg/ml, respectively).
In Group B, changes were not significant (38pg/ml to 16pg/ml and 315pg/ml to 110pg/ml).
Laurent Spahr, of the University Hospital, Geneva, Switzerland, said on behalf of fellow authors, "In severe alcoholic hepatitis, infliximab was well tolerated and associated with significant improvement in Maddrey's score at day 28."
"Although the size of this study does not allow comparison between groups, these promising results should encourage larger trials assessing the effects of this therapy on survival," Dr Spahr concluded.