Welcome to the STOPAH Trial Website 


Liver disease is now the 5th most common cause of death in the United Kingdom but unlike the top 4 causes of death liver disease mortatlity is rapidly rising. Alcohol consumption accounts for 80% of liver related deaths. Alcohol may cause cirrhosis of the liver or a florid condition called alcoholic hepatitis. Alcoholic Hepatitis, where the liver is inflamed, usually presents with jaundice and other features of liver failure.

The death rate from alcoholic hepatitis is particularly high amongst those patients who have severe alcoholic hepatitis - over 30% within the first month after admission to hospital.

Alcoholic hepatitis often affects a relatively young population (average age 50);some patients may even present in their 20's - 30's. Despite the increasing prevalence and severity of the disease there is no consistency in its management. In some clinical trials steroids or pentoxifylline have been shown to help some patients but not all trials demonstrate this benefit. Steroids are immunosuppressants which may make patients susceptible to infection and pentoxifylline supresses the release of certain pro-inflammatory mediators.

The STOPAH trial will be different from previous studies as it will attempt to provide a definitive answer as to whether steroids or pentoxifylline (or both) are beneficial in patients with severe alcoholic hepatitis. The trial will recruit 1200 patients throughout the UK which is significantly bigger than any other study in this group of patients.

STOPAH has been funded by the National Insitute of Health Research Health Technology Assessment Board. The trial will be run by the University of Southampton Clinical Trials Unit.  





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