Clinical features and treatment outcomes of primary biliary cholangitis in a highly admixed population

Members of the Brazilian Cholestasis Study Group Consortium

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Introduction and objectives Little is known about primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) in non-whites. The purpose of this study was to evaluate clinical features and outcomes of PBC in a highly admixed population. Material and methods The Brazilian Cholestasis Study Group multicentre database was reviewed to assess demographics, clinical features and treatment outcomes of Brazilian patients with PBC. Results 562 patients (95% females, mean age 51 ± 11 years) with PBC were included. Concurrent autoimmune diseases and overlap with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) occurred, respectively, in 18.9% and 14%. After a mean follow-up was 6.2 ± 5.3 years, 32% had cirrhosis, 7% underwent liver transplantation and 3% died of liver-related causes. 96% were treated with ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) and 12% required add-on therapy with fibrates, either bezafibrate, fenofibrate or ciprofibrate. Response to UDCA and to UDCA/fibrates therapy varied from 39%-67% and 42-61%, respectively, according to different validated criteria. Advanced histological stages and non-adherence to treatment were associated with primary non-response to UDCA, while lower baseline alkaline phosphatase (ALP) and aspartate aminotransferase (AST) levels correlated with better responses to both UDCA and UDCA/fibrates. Conclusions Clinical features of PBC in highly admixed Brazilians were similar to those reported in Caucasians and Asians, but with inferior rates of overlap syndrome with AIH. Response to UDCA was lower than expected and inversely associated with histological stage and baseline AST and ALP levels. Most of patients benefited from add-on fibrates, including ciprofibrate. A huge heterogeneity in response to UDCA therapy according to available international criteria was observed and reinforces the need of global standardization.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number100546
JournalAnnals of Hepatology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022


  • Bezafibrate
  • Brazil
  • Ciprofibrate
  • Epidemiology
  • Ethnic Origin
  • Fenofibrate
  • Latin America
  • Real life
  • Response to treatment
  • Scoring systems
  • Ursodeoxycholic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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