Widely used high blood pressure drugs may reduce liver inflammation

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Chronic liver damage is a serious condition that can lead to scarring of the liver tissue, which can ultimately result in increased blood pressure in the vascular system of the gastrointestinal tract, known as portal hypertension.

This can lead to serious complications.

However, a recent study from MedUni Vienna has found that common high blood pressure drugs, known as beta-blockers, have anti-inflammatory effects in advanced liver disease.

For many years, beta-blockers have been used as a standard drug treatment, but only 50% to 60% of patients achieve a clinically relevant reduction in portal vein pressure.

The current study shows that beta-blockers also have an impact on systemic inflammation, which is inflammation throughout the body.

In the study, the researchers found biomarkers of systemic inflammation prior to and during treatment with beta-blockers.

They showed that patients suffering from advanced stages of cirrhosis were not only more likely to have a systemic inflammatory response but were also more likely to benefit from the anti-inflammatory effects of beta-blockers.

The cirrhotic patients achieved a reduction in inflammatory markers, such as the white blood cell count, under beta-blocker therapy, and they had fewer complications of portal hypertension and lower risk of death.

The study also found that the increasing severity of portal hypertension is paralleled by inflammatory reactions in the body.

This means that beta-blockers may have an important role in reducing inflammation and improving outcomes for patients with advanced liver disease.

The researchers say that after further validation in clinical trials, these findings may help to predict the benefit of beta-blocker treatment more accurately and thus give patients optimal advice.

This study highlights the potential benefits of beta-blockers for patients with advanced liver disease and adds to the growing body of evidence supporting the use of these drugs.

It also underscores the importance of understanding the complex interactions between different systems in the body and how they can impact disease progression and treatment outcomes.

As always, patients should talk to their healthcare provider before starting or stopping any medication, as individual circumstances and medical history may influence treatment decisions.

More about chronic liver damage

Chronic liver damage is a serious medical condition that can result from a range of causes, including alcohol abuse, viral infections, autoimmune disorders, and genetic disorders.

Over time, chronic liver damage can lead to scarring (fibrosis) of the liver tissue, which can ultimately lead to a condition known as portal hypertension.

Portal hypertension occurs when there is increased blood pressure in the vascular system of the gastrointestinal tract, specifically the portal vein, which carries blood from the digestive organs to the liver.

As the liver becomes scarred and stiff, it becomes more difficult for blood to flow through it, leading to an increase in pressure in the portal vein.

The complications of portal hypertension can be serious, including the development of varices, which are swollen veins that can burst and cause severe bleeding, as well as ascites, which is an accumulation of fluid in the abdomen.

Portal hypertension can also lead to hepatic encephalopathy, a condition in which toxins build up in the blood and cause cognitive dysfunction.

It is important to note that chronic liver damage and portal hypertension can have serious consequences and should be managed by a healthcare professional.

Treatment options may include lifestyle modifications, medication, and in severe cases, liver transplant.

If you care about liver health, please read studies about dairy foods linked to liver cancer, and vitamin D could help prevent non-alcoholic fatty liver disease.

For more information about blood pressure, please see recent studies about unhealthy habits that could increase high blood pressure risk, and results showing how to cut heart attack risk by half in people with high blood pressure.

The study was published in Gut and conducted by Thomas Reiberger et al.

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