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Transpl Int. 2005 Feb;18(2):221-5.

Sterol parameters as markers of liver function in primary biliary cirrhosis before and after liver transplantation.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Jorvi Hospital, Helsinki, Finland.


Serum cholesterol reflects poorly cholesterol metabolism. From serum noncholesterol sterols cholestanol, campesterol, and sitosterol are surrogate markers of cholesterol absorption, but reflect also cholestasis, while those of lathosterol reflect cholesterol synthesis and hepatic parenchymal function. We investigated these sterols at end-stage of primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) - prior to liver transplantation and shortly after transplantation in 67 patients to show their role as index of cholestasis and parenchymal liver function. Median preoperative values of cholestanol were increased 7.6 times, those of plant sterols 1.6-3.7 times above and the campesterol/sitosterol ratio was decreased twice below our control values, respective lathosterol levels being mainly subnormal. After transplantation, the proportions to cholesterol of the absorption markers decreased, and those of synthesis markers and the ratios of campesterol/sitosterol increased significantly. Thus, surrogate sterol markers of cholesterol absorption and synthesis in serum are also good clinical markers of chronic cholestasis and degree of hepatic parenchymal cell function in PBC. Postoperative improvement of serum sterol profile indicate clinically good function of the liver graft.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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