Spotlight

Alcoholic Hepatitis Network

An image of the progression of a diseased liver

Alcoholic hepatitis (AH) is a severe, sudden-onset form of alcohol-associated liver disease (ALD) with high mortality—from 30 percent to 50 percent within 3 months of diagnosis. To stimulate translational and clinical research into the causes of and cures for AH, NIAAA funded four AH research consortia in 2012. From 2012 to 2017, the AH research consortia collaborated to draft standard definitions for the condition and to develop common data elements for clinical trials.

To optimize these efforts, in 2018 NIAAA Director George F. Koob, Ph.D., consolidated the four AH research consortia into a single network. In September of that year, the NIAAA Alcoholic Hepatitis Clinical and Translational Network was formed by funding eight sites to conduct a common Phase II clinical trial, along with studies aimed at increasing our understanding of AH pathogenesis and developing new treatment and management approaches.

Today the network is a collaborative effort of 11 clinical and translational research centers and is known as the Alcoholic Hepatitis Network, or AlcHepNet. The goal of the AlcHepNet is to collect and store clinical data to facilitate investigations of the epidemiology, diagnosis, pathophysiology, natural history, and treatment of alcoholic hepatitis, and to develop a biospecimen bank comprising plasma, DNA, and other biological specimens obtained from individuals with and without alcoholic hepatitis. Combined, these approaches will improve treatment and care for patients with this devastating liver condition.

“Better treatment and clinical care for AH is certainly on the horizon thanks to the AlcHepNet,” notes Dr. Koob, “and treatment for alcohol use disorder could well become recognized as the most important determinant of long-term survival for individuals with AH. I’m also hopeful that the AlcHepNet’s unparalleled scientific talent and world-class resources may uncover new biomarkers that could help shift our focus from AH treatment to prevention.”

AlcHepNet Data Coordinating Centers
Indiana University–Purdue University at Indianapolis
University of Massachusetts Medical School–Worcester

AlcHepNet Research Sites (Clinical and/or Translational)
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center (C/T)
Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine of Case Western Reserve University (C/T)
Indiana University–Purdue University at Indianapolis (C/T)
Mayo Clinic–Rochester (C/T)
University of California, San Diego (T)
University of Louisville (C/T)
University of Pittsburgh at Pittsburgh (C/T)
University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (C)
Virginia Commonwealth University (C/T)
Yale University (T)