Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 10207816
J. Hepatol. 1999 Apr;30(4):722-5
BACKGROUND/AIMS: Alcohol may induce autoimmunity by recognition of acetaldehyde-modified proteins which may be implicated in the pathogenicity of acute alcoholic hepatitis. We report here the potential role of alpha-interferon, a potent inducer of the autoimmunity process, in inducing alcoholic hepatitis.
METHODS: We analyzed clinical, biological, virological and histological features in two cases where alpha-interferon treatment for HCV-related hepatitis led to a marked increase in aminotransferase activities.
RESULTS: alpha-interferon as treatment of HCV-related hepatitis seemed to exacerbate acute alcoholic hepatitis despite moderate alcohol consumption. In Case 1, moderate daily alcohol intake of 40 g during therapy led to biopsy-proven acute alcoholic hepatitis, while the same consumption before therapy did not. In Case 2, before treatment, the liver biopsy showed mild acute alcoholic hepatitis; aminotransferases increased during alpha-interferon therapy, although no increase in alcohol intake was observed.
CONCLUSION: alpha-interferon therapy by its immunomodulatory properties could be implicated in alteration of the course of acute alcoholic hepatitis. These observations emphasize that the decision to treat with alpha-interferon when there is even moderate alcohol consumption should be carefully weighted in HCV-infected patients.