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Eur J Gastroenterol Hepatol. 1996 Jul;8(7):663-6.

End-stage primary biliary cirrhosis in a first generation migrant south Asian population.

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  • 1Liver Unit, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK.


Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is uncommonly described from Asia and it is an extremely rare cause of chronic liver disease in India. Six first generation migrant Asian patients with PBC were seen at the Liver Unit, Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham during the period 1982-94. All were women and their ages at presentation ranged from 31 to 63 (median 40) years. All were symptomatic for a median of 6 months prior to referral to the unit for transplantation. Itching with or without jaundice was a common presenting feature. Diagnosis was based on raised serum IgM levels, presence of antimitochondrial antibody (titres 100-400) and diagnostic histology. Only one patients had an associated autoimmune disease (coeliac disease). Serum bilirubin level was above 100 mumol/l at the time of presentation in four patients. Four of these patients with end-stage PBC are first generation migrants from south Asia, who have been resident in the West Midlands for the past 10 to 34 years. The total south Asian population of the West Midlands is 276,754; thus, from these four patients alone the estimated prevalence of PBC in the migrant south Asian population is at least 14 per million. However, such data cannot be used to give any accurate assessment of prevalence, for which a population screening programme is required. A higher incidence in the migrant population than in their countries of origin is compatible with an environmental aetiology.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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