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Management of alcoholic hepatitis

Abstract

About 5,000 people die each year from chronic liver disease in England and Wales alone.1 In many patients, the liver injury is due to chronic excessive alcohol consumption and manifests as alcoholic hepatitis (an acute inflammation of the liver), cirrhosis, or alcoholic hepatitis superimposed on a background of cirrhosis.2 Mild alcoholic hepatitis may be asymptomatic and reversible, but where the hepatitis is more severe, up to 65% of those affected die from it.3,4 The incidence of alcoholic hepatitis in the UK seems set to increase with the rise in heavy drinking, particularly among women.5 Here we review how patients with alcoholic hepatitis should be managed.

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