FRIDAY, Aug. 7 (HealthDay News) -- Patients with severe alcoholic hepatitis are at high risk for infection, and infection is much more common in those who do not respond to steroid treatment, according to a study published in the August issue of Gastroenterology.
Alexandre Louvet, M.D., of the Hopital Huriez in Lille, France, and colleagues conducted a prospective study of 246 patients with severe alcoholic hepatitis who were admitted to the hospital between 2002 and 2008.
The researchers note that, at admission, the incidence of infection was 25.6 percent (44.4 percent spontaneous bacterial peritonitis or bacteremia, 31.7 percent urinary tract infections, 12.7 percent pulmonary infections, and 11.2 percent other infections). After corticosteroid therapy, 23.7 percent of patients developed an infection. Infection after corticosteroid administration was found to occur significantly more frequently in non-responders compared with responders (42.5 versus 11.1 percent).
"To develop effective therapies for alcoholic liver disease, mechanisms that contribute to the disease process, along with the main factors involved in patient outcome, must be elucidated, as proposed in the present study," the authors conclude.