SNAPSHOTS —Alan Franciscus, Editor-in-Chief
Title: Marijuana is not associated with progression of hepatic fibrosis in liver disease: a systematic review and meta-analysis—M.T. Farooqui, et. al.
Source: Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2018 Sep 18. doi: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/30234644#
Study Aims and Results: In the United States, there are an estimated 22 million users of marijuana. The current study reviewed previous studies (meta-analysis) to estimate the prevalence, and fibrosis disease progression.
The authors reviewed databases through November 2017 to evaluate the role of marijuana in chronic liver disease.
There were nine studies with 5,976,026 patients identified. The studies included two studies on people with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), four hepatitis C virus (HCV) studies, and one HCV and HIV coinfection study.
In their analysis, marijuana use did not increase the prevalence or fibrosis progression in HCV or HCV/HIV coinfection patients. However, in patients with NAFLD, there was a reduction in fibrosis progression.
Conclusions: The authors found that marijuana did not increase the risk of fibrosis progression in people with HCV or HCV/HIV coinfection, but it had the opposite effect in people with NAFLD to reduce fibrosis progression.
Editorial Comments: In our HCV training workshops, the question of smoking or ingesting marijuana was a frequent topic of discussion. The trouble with a review of this type is that it doesn’t completely answer important questions. A well-designed study that looks at the potency, how much is ingested daily and many other factors need to be studied and answered before we can determine the question of safety in these patients with liver disease. Until we have more concrete studies on the effect of marijuana on the whole body, we do have this information to offer some reassurance.Share This Page