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News

Daytime somnolence may cause fatigue in primary biliary cirrhosis

Excessive daytime somnolence is present in a high number of patients with primary biliary cirrhosis, and correlates with the degree of fatigue, reports the most recent issue of Hepatology.

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A significant proportion of patients with primary biliary cirrhosis suffer from severe fatigue.

Dr David Jones and colleagues from England characterized patterns of daytime sleep in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis.

The investigative team studied the association between sleep abnormality, and fatigue severity.

The team assessed fatigue severity in 48 female subjects with primary biliary cirrhosis using a disease-specific quality of life instrument.

The Fatigue Impact Scale, a generic fatigue measure was also used.

In addition, the team included 48 case-matched normal controls.

All participants completed the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index, and the Epworth Sleepiness Scale, which assesses daytime hypersomnolence.

Global sleep quality was lower in the primary biliary cirrhosis group
Hepatology

The investigators performed objective sleep assessment using accelerometry over 7 days.

Global sleep quality assessed by the Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index was significantly lower in the primary biliary cirrhosis group compared to controls.

The team noted that the Epworth Sleepiness Scale scores were significantly higher in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis than controls.

This result may suggest significantly greater daytime somnolence in the patients with primary biliary cirrhosis.

Objective sleep assessment confirmed that subjects with primary biliary cirrhosis were sleeping on average almost twice as long as controls during the daytime.

The team observed that both degree of daytime somnolence, and actual daytime sleep activity correlated strongly with fatigue severity in the patient group.

Dr Jones' team concludes, “Sleep abnormality, in the form of excessive daytime somnolence, is present in a significant proportion of patients with primary biliary cirrhosis.”

“A degree of daytime somnolence correlates strongly with the degree of fatigue.”

“Existing agents effective at reducing daytime somnolence, such as modafinil, hold potential for the treatment of fatigue in primary biliary cirrhosis.”

Hepatology 2006: 44(1): 91-8
28 June 2006

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