Blood pressure drug also reverses liver damage

June 1st, 2009 - 3:15 pm ICT by IANS  

London, June 1 (IANS) A blood-pressure drug also reverses early stage liver damage in some patients, says a study.
Newcastle University researchers analysed a small clinical trial of losartan, a drug normally prescribed for hypertension, on 14 patients in Spain who had Hepatitis C.

The illness was at an advanced stage causing fibrosis - scarring in the liver - which would usually have progressed to liver failure.

Half of the patients in the trial saw the scars in their liver shrink allowing the organ to repair itself.

Derek Mann, professor, Newcastle University, said “at the moment we have no proven effective way of treating people with chronic liver disease other than transplantation”.

“This early stage trial has shown that we can shrink liver scarring in some patients and shows promise for a treatment that could make a huge difference to the lives of thousands of people,” he said.

Researchers said they now want to carry out several much larger studies initially involving patients with liver disease caused by obesity and then later alcohol, hereditary and autoimmune diseases, said a Newcastle university release.

These findings were published in Gastroenterology Mechanism.

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