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J Hepatol. 2004 Jan;40(1):40-6.

A randomized placebo controlled trial of vitamin E for alcoholic hepatitis.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, 921 Ross Building, The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, 720 Rutland Avenue, Baltimore, MD 21205, USA.



The effect of vitamin E administration on clinical and laboratory parameters of liver function and on markers of fibrogenesis was assessed in patients with mild to moderate alcoholic hepatitis in a double blind placebo controlled randomized trial.


Twenty-five patients received 1000 I.U. of vitamin E per day, while 26 patients received placebo for 3 months. The patients were followed for 1 year after entry into the trial.


Vitamin E did not result in significant greater decreases in serum aminotransferases and serum bilirubin or in greater increases in serum albumin as compared with placebo. Prothrombin time did not change, while serum creatinine remained in the normal range. Monocyte nuclear nuclear factor-kappa B binding activity decreased in patients who remained abstinent, regardless of whether they received vitamin E. As regards markers of hepatic fibrogenesis, vitamin E treatment decreased serum hyaluronic acid (P<0.05) while serum aminoterminal peptide of type III procollagen did not change in either group. Four patients in the treatment group and five in the placebo group died during the 1-year study.


Vitamin E treatment improves serum hyaluronic acid but has no beneficial effects on tests of liver function in patients with mild to moderate alcoholic hepatitis.

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