The evolution of chronic liver injuries from benign and manageable dysfunction to life threatening end stage liver disease with severe complications renders chronic liver disease a global health burden. Due to the lack of effective medication, transplantation remains the only and final curative option for end stage liver disease. Since the demand for organ transplants by far exceeds the supply, other treatment options are urgently required to prevent progression and improve end stage liver disease. Statins are primarily cholesterol-lowering drugs used for primary or secondary prevention of cardiovascular diseases. In addition to the primary effect, statins act beneficially through different pleiotropic mechanisms on inflammation, fibrosis, endothelial function, thrombosis and coagulation to improve chronic liver diseases. However, concerns remain about the efficacy and safety of statin treatment due to their potential hepatotoxic risks and as of now, these risks impede broader use of statins in the treatment of chronic liver diseases. The aim of this review is to comprehensively describe the mechanisms by which statins improve prospects for different chronic liver diseases with special focus on the pathophysiological rationale and the clinical experience of statin use in the treatment of liver diseases.
- liver disease
- Copyright © 2017, American Journal of Physiology-Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology