What is cirrhosis?
Cirrhosis of the liver is a consequence of chronic liver
disease characterized by replacement of liver tissue by fibrotic
scar tissue as well as regenerative nodules, leading to progressive
loss of liver function. Cirrhosis is most commonly caused by
alcoholism and hepatitis C, but has many other possible causes.
Cirrhosis is generally irreversible once it occurs, and treatment
generally focuses on preventing progression and complications. In
advanced stages of cirrhosis the only option is a liver
Sulphasalazine, an inexpensive drug used for arthritis and
inflammatory bowel disease, can reverse the scarring associated
with cirrhosis of the liver, according to scientists at the
University of Newcastle in the UK.
Previously thought to be irreversible, new research on animals
has found that the scarring damage can be reversed with the drug.
If research with humans conforms these findings, it may mean that
use of the drug could eliminate the need for liver transplants.
The scientists will start clinical trials with previously heavy
drinkers who no longer drink and whose livers are heavily