Alcohol use disorder and the liver.

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    • Abstract:
      Alcohol use disorders (AUD) cause a range of physical harms, but the major cause of alcohol‐related mortality is alcohol‐related liver disease (ALD), in some countries accounting for almost 90% of alcohol‐related deaths. The risk of ALD has an exponential relationship with increasing alcohol consumption, but is also associated with genetic factors, other life‐style factors and social deprivation. ALD includes a spectrum of progressive pathology, from liver steatosis to fibrosis and liver cirrhosis. There are no specific treatments for liver cirrhosis, but abstinence from alcohol is key to limit progression of the disease. Over time, cirrhosis can progress (often silently) to decompensated cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Liver transplantation may be suitable for patients with decompensated liver cirrhosis and may also be used as a curative intervention for HCC, but only for a few selected patients, and complete abstinence is a prerequisite. Patients with AUD are also at risk of developing alcoholic hepatitis, which has a high mortality and limited evidence for effective therapies. There is a strong evidence base for the effectiveness of psychosocial and pharmacological interventions for AUD, but very few of these have been trialled in patients with comorbid ALD. Integrated specialist alcohol and hepatology collaborations are required to develop interventions and pathways for patients with ALD and ongoing AUD. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]
    • Abstract:
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