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Can J Gastroenterol. 2010 Mar;24(3):183-8.

The role of garlic in hepatopulmonary syndrome: a randomized controlled trial.

Author information

  • 1Department of Medicine, Medical College Calcutta, India. binaykde@hotmail.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Increased nitric oxide production in cirrhosis has been commonly implicated in the genesis of hepatopulmonary syndrome (HPS). Initial studies suggested that garlic, a constituent of the daily diet, may have a role in the treatment of HPS by altering nitric oxide production.

OBJECTIVE:

To evaluate the effects of oral garlic supplementation on arterial blood gas parameters, and overall morbidity and mortality in patients with HPS.

METHODS:

Twenty-one and 20 HPS patients were randomly assigned to receive either oral garlic supplementation or placebo, respectively, and were evaluated monthly over a period of nine to 18 months.

RESULTS:

After nine months, garlic supplementation was associated with a 24.66% increase in baseline arterial oxygen levels (83.05 mmHg versus 66.62 mmHg; P<0.001), compared with only a 7.37% increase (68.75 mmHg versus 64.05 mmHg; P=0.02) among subjects in the placebo group. There was also a 28.35% decrease in alveolar-arterial oxygen gradient (21.35 mmHg versus 29.77 mmHg; P<0.001) among patients with HPS who received garlic, in contrast with only a 10.73% decrease (29.11 mmHg versus 32.61 mmHg; P=0.12) among those in the placebo group. After nine months, the arterial oxygen level was significantly higher (83.05 mmHg versus 68.75 mmHg; P<0.001) and the alveolar-arterial oxygen gradient was significantly lower (21.35 mmHg versus 29.11 mmHg; P<0.001) among patients receiving garlic compared with those receiving placebo. Reversal of HPS was observed in 14 of 21 patients (66.67%) on garlic supplementation (intent-to-treat analysis) and in one of 20 patients (5%) on placebo. Two of 21 patients undergoing garlic supplementation died during follow-up in contrast to seven of 20 patients who were on placebo.

CONCLUSIONS:

Garlic supplementation may be beneficial in patients with HPS for the reversal of intrapulmonary shunts as well as reducing hypoxemia and mortality.

PMID:
20352147
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2852224
Free PMC Article

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