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Dig Liver Dis. 2003 May;35(5):325-31.

Treatment of primary sclerosing cholangitis with low-dose ursodeoxycholic acid: results of a retrospective Italian multicentre survey.

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  • 1University of Parma, Parma, Italy. lajos.okolicsanyi@unipd.it

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Data concerning the usefulness and type of drugs employed to treat patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis are controversial. Ursodeoxycholic acid has been shown to be a useful agent, however the drug dosage and its effect on the clinical course are still under debate.

AIM:

To evaluate the efficacy of low-dose ursodeoxycholic acid in the treatment of primary sclerosing cholangitis.

METHODS:

We retrospectively analysed data from 86 patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis from eight centres in Italy between 1987 and 1997: 69 were treated with ursodeoxycholic acid (8-13 mg/kg/day), while 17 received symptomatic treatment and served as controls. The effect of therapy was evaluated by standard liver function tests and symptom analysis.

RESULTS:

Ursodeoxycholic acid treatment was associated with significant improvement in serum alkaline phosphatase (735+/-833 vs. 519+/-448 U/l, p<0.001), gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase (401+/-352 vs. 234+/-235 U/l, p<0.001), aspartate aminotransferase (87+/-70 vs. 56+/-42 U/l, p=0.001), alanine aminotransferase (146+/-139 vs. 76+/-73 U/l, p<0.001), and total bilirubin (1.88+/-2.44 vs. 1.76+/-4.12 U/l, p=0.01); there was also amelioration of fatigue (p=0.007), jaundice (p=0.002), and body weight loss (p=0.002).

CONCLUSIONS:

Ursodeoxycholic acid, at a dose of 8-13 mg/kg/day was beneficial for the general condition and liver biochemistry of patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis; high-dose ursodeoxycholic acid treatment requires further evaluation.

PMID:
12846404
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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