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Liver Int. 2007 May;27(4):465-74.

Drug-induced liver injury at an Asian center: a prospective study.

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Asian Center for Liver Diseases and Transplantation, Gleneagles Hospital, Singapore, Singapore.



The aetiology of drug-induced liver injuries (DILI) in Asia is different from that in the West, as anecdotal studies have shown that traditional complementary and alternative medicines (CAM) accounted for a major proportion of offending drugs in DILI in Asia. We aimed to study DILI in Asia prospectively, and to test whether DILI caused by traditional CAM was related to adulterants.


A collaborative group consisting of a tertiary-hospital hepatology department, a pharmaceutical laboratory, and a pharmacovigilance unit was formed to study patients with DILI at a tertiary hospital over a 26-month period prospectively. Traditional medicines that were implicated were tested for the presence of adulterants.


Thirty-one patients with DILI were enrolled: age 51+/-3 (18-79) years, 17 (55%) male. Twenty-three (74%) had hepatocellular, six (19%) had cholestatic, and two (7%) had a mixed pattern of injury. Chinese traditional CAM was the most common medication type implicated, accounting for 17 (55%) patients, followed by Malay CAM in five (16%). Thirty-one traditional medicines from 17 patients were available for chemical analysis. Adulterants were found in nine (29%) of them.


DILI in Asia has a different aetiology as compared with the West, and could be related to presence of adulterants in traditional CAM.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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