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Statins: Old drugs as new therapy for liver diseases

Pose, E; Trebicka, J; Mookerjee, RP; Angeli, P; Ginès, P; (2019) Statins: Old drugs as new therapy for liver diseases. Journal of Hepatology , 70 (1) pp. 194-202. 10.1016/j.jhep.2018.07.019. Green open access

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Abstract

In addition to lowering cholesterol levels, statins have pleiotropic effects, particularly anti-inflammatory, antiangiogenic, and antifibrotic, that may be beneficial in some chronic inflammatory conditions. Statins have only recently been investigated as a potential treatment option in chronic liver diseases because of concerns related to their safety in patients with impaired liver function. A number of experimental studies in animal models of liver diseases have shown that statins decrease hepatic inflammation, fibrogenesis and portal pressure. In addition, retrospective cohort studies in large populations of patients with cirrhosis and pre-cirrhotic conditions have shown that treatment with statins, with the purpose of decreasing high cholesterol levels, was associated with a reduced risk of disease progression, hepatic decompensation, hepatocellular carcinoma development, and death. These beneficial effects persisted after adjustment for disease severity and other potential confounders. Finally, a few randomised controlled trials have shown that treatment with simvastatin decreases portal pressure (two studies) and mortality (one study). Statin treatment was generally well tolerated but a few patients developed severe side effects, particularly rhabdomyolysis. Despite these promising beneficial effects, further randomised controlled trials in large series of patients with hard clinical endpoints should be performed before statins can be recommended for use in clinical practice.

Type: Article
Title: Statins: Old drugs as new therapy for liver diseases
Location: Netherlands
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
DOI: 10.1016/j.jhep.2018.07.019
Publisher version: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jhep.2018.07.019
Language: English
Additional information: This is an open access article under the CC BY license (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Keywords: Chronic liver diseases, Decompensation, Pleiotropic effects, Portal hypertension, Statins
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > School of Life and Medical Sciences > Faculty of Medical Sciences > Div of Medicine > Inst for Liver and Digestive Hlth
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10061497
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