BACKGROUND AND AIMS: While the association between platelet activation and hepatic fibrosis has been previously demonstrated in animal studies; the utility of anti-platelet agents in reversing the progression of hepatic fibrosis requires further review. Utilizing systematic review methods, we provide to our knowledge the first meta-analysis combining evidence from all studies aimed to establish the effect of anti-platelet agents in the prevention of hepatic fibrosis.METHODS: We searched Medline, EMBASE and PubMed databases from inception to October 2018 to identify all studies aimed at evaluating the role of anti-platelet agents in the prevention of hepatic fibrosis. The primary outcome was hepatic fibrosis. The initial title, abstract, and full-text screening were performed in duplicate. Risk of bias was evaluated using the Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. A fixed-effect generic inverse variance method was used to create a pooled estimate of the odds of hepatic fibrosis in patients with anti-platelet agents versus without anti-platelet agents.RESULTS: Among the 2310 unique articles identified during the title screening, 4 studies with a combined population of 3141 patients were deemed eligible for inclusion into the meta-analysis establishing the effect of anti-platelet agents on hepatic fibrosis. One study failed to report their findings in the entire cohort, electing to instead summarize the effects of anti-platelets within subgroups categorized by fibrotic risk factors. Use of anti-platelets was associated with 32% decreased odds of hepatic fibrosis, (adjusted pooled OR 0.68; CI 0.56-0.82, p=0.0001). The statistical heterogeneity among the studies was insignificant.CONCLUSION: Use of anti-platelet agents is associated with the decreased odds of hepatic fibrosis. Due to limited evidence, future high-quality randomized controlled trials with larger comparative samples are required to further delineate the potential beneficial effects of these drugs in preventing hepatic fibrosis.
View details for PubMedID 30539518