A team from Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, assessed the extent of fatigue in primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC).
The actual extent of the problems caused by fatigue in PBC has yet to be determined. This is because previous studies addressing this issue have tended to use selected patient subgroups and subjective or non-quantitative fatigue assessment tools.
An objective measure of fatigue impact (the fatigue impact score [FIS]) was applied to a geographically based patient cohort, age- and sex-matched normal controls, and chronic liver disease controls.
Median FIS was found to be significantly higher in patients than community controls (40 vs 28) and chronic liver disease controls (21).
| Fatigue is not universal among PBC patients.
| Gastroenterology |
Fatigue scores in the 11 patients who had undergone liver transplantation (median 3.5 years previously) were the same as those in non-transplanted patients with advanced disease.
Jennifer Goldblatt, of the Center for Liver Research at the University of Newcastle, said on behalf of her colleagues, "Fatigue is a significant and specific problem in PBC.
"It is not, however, universal, and affects fewer patients than has previously been thought to be the case based on data from selected patient cohorts."
"This definition of the ‘normal range' for fatigue in PBC will assist in future studies of etiology and therapy," she concluded.