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July 2020

Gastroenterologist. 1995 Jun; 3(2): 119-29.

Hepatotoxicity: newer aspects of pathogenesis and treatment.

Heathcote J, Wanless IR.

Department of Medicine, Toronto Hospital, Canada.

The etiology and the pathogenesis of different forms of hepatotoxicity are discussed; case reports are included to illustrate the importance of history-taking and examination of liver tissue in establishing a specific diagnosis. The role of alcohol as a hepatotoxin as well as an enzyme-inducing agent is stressed. Genetic factors have been identified that may determine susceptibility to alcoholism and the hepatotoxic effects of alcohol and other compounds. Some cases of drug-induced cholestasis may be explained by disturbances in the known pathways of bile acid uptake, transport, and excretion. The importance of small duct destruction in patients with progressive drug-induced cholestasis is discussed. Finally, the potential hepatic complications of some nonprescription remedies used by adherents of "alternative medicine" are described, emphasizing the relevance of thorough etiological inquiry in all patients presenting with hepatic dysfunction.

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