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Is telmisartan effective in treating non-alcoholic steatohepatitis?
Date:3/3/2009

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) are well-recognized causes of progressive liver disease leading to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. To date, no therapy provided evidence of significant efficacy in these conditions and no approved therapeutic options are available worldwide. As the renin-angiotensin system overexpression plays a central role in insulin resistance and subsequently in NAFLD/NASH as the hepatic expression of metabolic syndrome, an attempt to block its deleterious effects and thus to improve insulin sensitivity and to antagonize the local hepatic effects of a vicious cycle seems logically correct. In the light of this, angiotensin receptor blockers (ARBs) could act as an elegant tool for adequate correction of various imbalances that act in concert in NASH/NAFLD. Indeed, by inhibiting the renin-angiotensin system, the intracellular insulin signaling pathways can be improved, adipose tissue proliferation and adipokine production can be controlled better, and local and systemic levels of various cytokines can be adequately balanced. At the same time, by controlling this peptide system locally in the liver the evolution from steatosis to necroinflammation and consequent fibrosis can be slowed down, while by targeting the pancreatic effects of angiotensin it is possible to preserve an adequate insulin secretion and acquire a better metabolic balance.

A research team led by Prof. Eugen Georgescu from the Filantropia University Hospital of Craiova Romania addressed this issue and their results will be published on February 28, 2009 in the World Journal of Gastroenterology.

They compared the efficacy of telmisartan vs valsartan in a randomized double blind pilot trial assessing insulin resistance, cytolysis and NASH activity score (NAS) in 54 patients with NASH and mild-to moderate hypertension. The primary endpoints of the study were to prove that ARBs can ameliorate insu
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Contact: Lai-Fu Li
wjg@wjgnet.com
86-105-908-0039
World Journal of Gastroenterology
Source:Eurekalert

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