Pathogenesis of Alcoholic Liver Disease

Winston Dunn, Vijay H. Shah

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Alcoholic liver disease includes a broad clinical-histological spectrum from simple steatosis, cirrhosis, acute alcoholic hepatitis with or without cirrhosis to hepatocellular carcinoma as a complication of cirrhosis. The pathogenesis of alcoholic liver disease can be conceptually divided into (1) ethanol-mediated liver injury, (2) inflammatory immune response to injury, (3) intestinal permeability and microbiome changes. Corticosteroids may improve outcomes, but this is controversial and probably only impacts short-term survival. New pathophysiology-based therapies are under study, including antibiotics, caspase inhibition, interleukin-22, anakinra, FXR agonist and others. These studies provide hope for better future outcomes for this difficult disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)445-456
Number of pages12
JournalClinics in liver disease
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • Alcoholic hepatitis
  • Alcoholic liver disease
  • Corticosteroids
  • Intestinal permeability
  • Microbiome
  • Sterile necrosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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