In this study, researchers from Canada and Europe evaluated the effect of ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) on histologic progression in primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC).
The research team combined the histologic findings from 4 clinical trials.
They selected patients who had paired liver-biopsy specimens available, with an interval of 36 months between biopsies.
|In patients with initial stages I to II there was a decrease in the histologic stage progression.|
|Journal of Hepatology|
The team selected 367 patients, of these 200 received UDCA treatment and 167 received placebo.
The researchers did not identify any significant difference in the progression of the histologic stage between the 2 groups.
However, in a subgroup of 177 patients with initial stages I to II they found a significant decrease in the histologic stage progression in the UDCA group, compared to the placebo group.
The team also found that, overall, there was a significant delay in the progression of periportal necroinflammatory lesions in the UDCA group.
In addition, they identified an improvement in the degree of ductular proliferation in the UDCA group, compared with the placebo group.
There was no significant difference in the progression of other specific lesions.
Dr Renée Eugénie Poupon's team concluded, "UDCA treatment reduces periportal necroinflammation and improves ductular proliferation, and…delays the progression of histologic stage".
"These data support the early initiation of the drug to prevent these histologic features of PBC".