Background and Aim: Ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) has been widely used in the treatment of patients with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC). However, some patients are refractory to UDCA. The aim of this study is to clarify the additive improvement induced by bezafibrate in patients refractory to UDCA. Methods: This study was a prospective analysis of 37 consecutive PBC patients. All patients were treated first for 6months with UDCA, and then with bezafibrate, if their alkaline phosphatase (ALP) levels did not decrease more than 40% or within the normal range after 6months' treatment with UDCA. Clinical parameters were monitored for the subsequent 24months. Result: Twenty-two patients (59%) achieved improvement of ALP levels after the treatment with UDCA. Those patients (Group A) had significantly lower levels of ALP at diagnosis than those with abnormal ALP levels after 6months' treatment with UDCA (Group B; P=0.020). They continued UDCA monotherapy, and maintained normal ALP levels at subsequent follow ups. However, immunoglobulin M (IgM) levels remained abnormal in eight patients, whose IgM levels at the time of diagnosis were significantly higher than those whose IgM were normalized after 6months' treatment with UDCA (P=0.026). Those in Group B were treated additionally with bezafibrate, and 12 patients (80%) achieved normal ALP and IgM levels within 12months of commencement of therapy. Conclusion: Higher ALP level at diagnosis is one of the predictors for UDCA failure. Combination treatment of bezafibrate in addition to UDCA may be an effective treatment for PBC patients refractory to UDCA.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Australia)|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 2011|
- Primary biliary cirrhosis
- Ursodeoxycholic acid
ASJC Scopus subject areas