A team from Göttingen, Germany, investigated the effects of simvastatin in primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC).
Serum lipids are frequently elevated in PBC, but the use of a lipid lowering drug therapy is still a matter of debate.
Simvastatin is an inhibitor of 3-hydroxy-3-methylglutaryl coenzyme A (HMG-CoA) reductase.
Six female patients (median age, 47 years) were treated with simvastatin (5 or 20 mg/day).
- Total and LDL cholesterol
- Alkaline phosphatase
- Immunoglobulin M
| Journal of Hepatology |
Levels of serum total cholesterol, low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, and high-density lipoprotein (HDL) cholesterol were determined prior to, and after 2 months of treatment.
Concentrations of serum markers of cholestasis, antimitochondrial antibodies (AMA), and immunoglobulins A, G, and M were also assessed.
The researchers found that simvastatin significantly reduced serum levels of total cholesterol (by 19%), LDL cholesterol (26%), alkaline phosphatase (12%), gamma-glutamyltransferase (37%), and immunoglobulin M (14%).
Uwe Ritzel, of the University of Göttingen, said on behalf of the group, "The lipid lowering potency of the HMG-CoA reductase inhibitor simvastatin was confirmed in hypercholesterolemic patients with PBC."
"The drug might also prove useful as modulator of cholestasis and of immune response in this disease," it was concluded.