S-adenosylmethionine in alcoholic liver cirrhosis: a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, multicenter clinical trial.


Mato JM, Camara J, Fernandez de Paz J




J Hepatol


BACKGROUND/AIM: The efficacy of S-adenosylmethionine (AdoMet) in the treatment of liver cell injury has been demonstrated in several experimental models. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of AdoMet treatment in human alcoholic liver cirrhosis. METHODS: A randomized, double-blind trial was performed in 123 patients treated with AdoMet (1200 mg/day, orally) or placebo for 2 years. All patients had alcoholic cirrhosis, and histologic confirmation of the diagnosis was available in 84% of the cases. Seventy-five patients were in Child class A, 40 in class B, and 8 in class C. Sixty-two patients received AdoMet and 61 received placebo. RESULTS: At inclusion into the trial no significant differences were observed between the two groups with respect to sex, age, previous episodes of major complications of cirrhosis, Child classification and liver function tests. The overall mortality/liver transplantation at the end of the trial decreased from 30% in the placebo group to 16% in the AdoMet group, although the difference was not statistically significant (p = 0.077). When patients in Child C class were excluded from the analysis, the overall mortality/liver transplantation was significantly greater in the placebo group than in the AdoMet group (29% vs. 12%, p = 0.025), and differences between the two groups in the 2-year survival curves (defined as the time to death or liver transplantation) were also statistically significant (p = 0.046). CONCLUSIONS: The present results indicate that long-term treatment with AdoMet may improve survival or delay liver transplantation in patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis, especially in those with less advanced liver disease.