Article Text

Download PDFPDF
Cirrhosis as new indication for statins
  1. Jaime Bosch1,2,3,
  2. Jordi Gracia-Sancho1,2,3,
  3. Juan G Abraldes4
  1. 1 Inselspital Universitatsspital Bern, Bern, Switzerland
  2. 2 Institut d'Investigacions Biomediques August Pi i Sunyer, Barcelona, Spain
  3. 3 CIBEREHD, Barcelona, Spain
  4. 4 Division of Gastroenterology (Liver Unit), University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Professor Jaime Bosch, Department of Biomedical Research - Hepatology, Inselspital, University of Bern, Bern, Switzerland;{at}; Dr Jordi Gracia-Sancho; jordi.gracia{at}; Professor Juan G Abraldes; juan.g.abraldes{at}


In the recent years, there have been an increasing number of reports on favourable effects of statins in patients with advanced chronic liver disease. These include reduction in portal pressure, improved liver sinusoidal endothelial and hepatic microvascular dysfunction, decreased fibrogenesis, protection against ischaemia/reperfusion injury, safe prolongation of ex vivo liver graft preservation, reduced sensitivity to endotoxin-mediated liver damage, protection from acute-on-chronic liver failure, prevention of liver injury following hypovolaemic shock and preventing/delaying progression of cirrhosis of any aetiology. Moreover, statins have been shown to have potential beneficial effects in the progression of other liver diseases, such as chronic sclerosing cholangitis and in preventing hepatocellular carcinoma. Because of these many theoretically favourable effects, statins have evolved from being considered a risk to kind of wonder drugs for patients with chronic liver diseases. The present article reviews the current knowledge on the potential applications of statins in chronic liver diseases, from its mechanistic background to objective evidence from clinical studies.

  • portal hypertension
  • fibrosis
  • endothelial cells
  • non-alcoholic steatohepatitis

Statistics from

Request Permissions

If you wish to reuse any or all of this article please use the link below which will take you to the Copyright Clearance Center’s RightsLink service. You will be able to get a quick price and instant permission to reuse the content in many different ways.


  • JB, JG-S and JGA are joint senior authors.

  • Twitter @jsgracia

  • JB, JG-S and JGA contributed equally.

  • Contributors Authors equally contributed to elaborate this manuscript.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Commissioned; externally peer reviewed.