Glutamine and vitamin E in the treatment of hepatic veno-occlusive disease following high-dose chemotherapy.
Goringe AP., Brown S., O'Callaghan U., Rees J., Jebb S., Elia M., Poynton CH.
Hepatic veno-occlusive disease (VOD) of the liver is a common complication following high-dose cytotoxic therapy for bone marrow transplantation (BMT). Liver injury is believed to occur following free radical damage to endothelial cells of the sinusoids and small hepatic veins. Glutathione the main antioxidant of the cytosol becomes depleted following chemotherapy. Animal studies have shown that glutamine infusions can maintain glutathione levels and protect against free radical injury. We present two cases of established VOD successfully treated with intravenous glutamine (as dipeptide) and oral vitamin E. Although both cases have possible confounding factors we believe that these give support to the notion that glutamine/vitamin E may have a role in the prophylaxis and treatment of VOD. Further formal trials are indicated.