Next Article in Journal
In Silico Insight into Potential Anti-Alzheimer’s Disease Mechanisms of Icariin
Next Article in Special Issue
Drug-Induced Liver Injury Network Causality Assessment: Criteria and Experience in the United States
Previous Article in Journal
Cerebellar Expression of the Neurotrophin Receptor p75 in Naked-Ataxia Mutant Mouse
Previous Article in Special Issue
RUCAM in Drug and Herb Induced Liver Injury: The Update
Article Menu
Issue 1 (January) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17(1), 114;

Herb-Induced Liver Injury in the Berlin Case-Control Surveillance Study

Institute of Clinical Pharmacology and Toxicology, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Institute for Social Medicine, Epidemiology and Health Economy, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin, 10117 Berlin, Germany
Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Leibniz Institute for Prevention Research and Epidemiology—BIPS, 28359 Bremen, Germany
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Rolf Teschke
Received: 17 November 2015 / Revised: 8 January 2016 / Accepted: 12 January 2016 / Published: 15 January 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Drug, Herb, and Dietary Supplement Hepatotoxicity)
Full-Text   |   PDF [464 KB, uploaded 15 January 2016]   |  


Herb-induced liver injury (HILI) has recently attracted attention due to increasing reports of hepatotoxicity associated with use of phytotherapeutics. Here, we present data on HILI from the Berlin Case-Control Surveillance Study. The study was initiated in 2000 to investigate the serious toxicity of drugs including herbal medicines. Potential cases of liver injury were ascertained in more than 180 Departments of all 51 Berlin hospitals from October 2002 to December 2011. Drug or herb intake was assessed through a standardized face-to-face interview. Drug or herbal aetiology was assessed based on the updated Council for International Organizations of Medical Sciences scale. In ten of all 198 cases of hepatotoxicity included in the study, herbal aetiology was assessed as probable (once ayurvedic herb) or possible (Valeriana five times, Mentha piperita once, Pelargonium sidoides once, Hypericum perforatum once, Eucalyptus globulus once). Mean age was 56.4 ± 9.7 years, and the predominant pattern of liver injury was hepatocellular. No cases of acute liver failure or death were observed. This case series corroborates known risks for ayurvedic herbs, supports the suspected association between Valeriana use and liver injury, and indicates a hepatotoxic potential for herbs such as Pelargonium sidoides, Hypericum perforatum or Mentha piperita that were rarely associated with liver injury before. However, given that possible causality does not prove clinical significance, further studies in this field are needed. View Full-Text
Keywords: hepatotoxicity; phytotherapeutics; pharmacovigilance hepatotoxicity; phytotherapeutics; pharmacovigilance

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Douros, A.; Bronder, E.; Andersohn, F.; Klimpel, A.; Kreutz, R.; Garbe, E.; Bolbrinker, J. Herb-Induced Liver Injury in the Berlin Case-Control Surveillance Study. Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2016, 17, 114.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Int. J. Mol. Sci. EISSN 1422-0067 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top