Alcoholic hepatitis is an acute, inflammatory liver disease associated with high morbidity and mortality both in the short term and long term. Alcoholic hepatitis often arises in patients with a background of chronic liver disease and it is characterised by the rapid onset of jaundice and the development of myriad complications. Medical therapy for severe alcoholic hepatitis relies on corticosteroids, which have modest effectiveness. Abstinence from alcohol is critically important in patients with alcoholic hepatitis, but recidivism is high. Because of the absence of effective medical treatments for alcoholic hepatitis and alcohol dependency, there is a pressing need to develop new and effective therapeutics. Supported by promising preliminary and preclinical studies, many ongoing clinical trials of new therapies for alcoholic hepatitis are currently underway and are discussed further in this Series paper.
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