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Therap Adv Gastroenterol. 2017 Nov;10(11):889-905. doi: 10.1177/1756283X17731520. Epub 2017 Oct 3.

Insights into the management of Wilson's disease.

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1
Centre for Liver Research, NIHR Birmingham Liver Biomedical Research Unit, Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, UK.
2
Centre for Liver Research, NIHR Birmingham Liver Biomedical Research Unit, Institute of Immunology and Immunotherapy, College of Medical and Dental Sciences, University of Birmingham, Edgbaston, Birmingham, B15 2TT, UK.

Abstract

Wilson's disease is a rare, inherited autosomal recessive disease of copper metabolism, in which the causative gene, ATP7B, results in absent or reduced function of the ATP7B transporter important for biliary excretion of copper and incorporation of copper into caeruloplasmin. Affected patients accumulate excessive copper within the liver, brain and other tissues. A disease mainly of children, adolescents and young adults; clinical features vary from the asymptomatic state to chronic liver disease, acute liver failure, and neuropsychiatric manifestations. Diagnosis requires a high index of suspicion and is based on a combination of clinical signs, biochemical tests, hepatic copper content assay and mutation analysis of the ATP7B gene; to date, there are more than 500 mutations of ATP7B in patients with Wilson's disease. Early recognition and treatment can result in an excellent prognosis whereas untreated disease is almost always fatal. Drug therapies include chelating agents, such as penicillamine or trientine, and zinc salts. Liver transplantation is curative correcting the underlying pathophysiology and is traditionally indicated in acute liver failure or end-stage liver disease refractory to medical therapy. This review provides an overview of various aspects of Wilson's disease including molecular basis of the disease, clinical features, diagnostic and management strategies with their current limitations.

KEYWORDS:

ATP7B; Wilson’s disease; chelating agents; liver failure; liver transplantation

Conflict of interest statement

Conflict of interest statement: The authors declare that there is no conflict of interest.

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