Warfarin may prevent liver failure in hepatitis C patients

Warfarin could be used to prevent liver failure in thousands of patients with hepatitis C, a new study suggests.

UK researchers found that warfarin significantly reduced the level of liver fibrosis in mice with chronic liver injury.

Digital image analysis of liver histology of wild-type mice treated with warfarin showed a 33 per cent reduction in mean fibrosis area compared with controls, according to the study published in the Journal of Thrombosis and Haemostasis.

The alpha-smooth muscle actin, which is a biochemical marker of fibrosis at a cellular level, was also reduced by 10 per cent in wild-type mice treated with warfarin.

It follows previous research by the same group which found that patients prone to blood clotting who have hepatitis C have accelerated liver scarring.

The researchers have now begun a two-year multi-centre trial, funded by the Medical Research Council (MRC), in 90 hepatitis C patients who have had liver transplants. These patients suffer rapid progression to fibrosis, and the follow-up trial should bring faster results, the researchers say.

Comment below and tell us what you think

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus
Follow Us: