The effect of ursodiol on the clinical and biochemical features, serum, urinary, and biliary bile acids was investigated over a 2-yr treatment period in 14 patients with primary biliary cirrhosis (stages II-IV). Pruritus and fatigue improved, and alkaline phosphatase and liver transferases declined significantly in all patients during therapy. In four patients, less inflammation was noted by liver biopsy after 2 yr, but histology of disease did not change. Serum and urinary bile acids were increased several-fold before treatment, with cholic acid predominating. Ursodiol accounted for 30% of biliary bile acids after administration (gallstone subjects ≃ 50%), and was conjugated with glycine and taurine in a ratio of 7.3:1. However, in the endogenous bile acids, the ratio increased from 1.2:1 to only 2.1:1. About 6% unconjugated bile acids were secreted into the bile (healthy controls < 1%). Thus, in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis, a larger fraction of free bile acids and a higher proportion of taurine-conjugated bile acids are secreted into the bile, compared with healthy controls. Ursodiol improves symptoms and histology with lower biliary enrichment with this bile acid.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||10|
|Journal||The American journal of gastroenterology|
|State||Published - May 1993|
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