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Predicting outcome in primary biliary cirrhosis

Willem J. Lammers, Kris V. Kowdley, Henk R. van Buuren


Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is a slowly progressive autoimmune liver disease that may ultimately result in liver failure and premature death. Predicting outcome is of key importance in clinical management and an essential requirement for patients counselling and timing of diagnostic and therapeutic interventions. The following factors are associated with progressive disease and worse outcome: young age at diagnosis, male gender, histological presence of cirrhosis, accelerated marked ductopenia in relation to the amount of fibrosis, high serum bilirubin, low serum albumin levels, high serum alkaline phosphatase levels, esophageal varices, hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and lack of biochemical response to ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA). The prognostic significance of symptoms at diagnosis is uncertain. UDCA therapy and liver transplantation have a significant beneficial effect on the outcome of the disease. The Mayo risk score in PBC can be used for estimating individual prognosis. The Newcastle Varices in PBC Score may be a useful clinical tool to predict the risk for development of esophageal varices. Male gender, cirrhosis and non-response to UDCA therapy in particular, are risk factors for development of HCC.

Key words. Prognostic factors., Prediction models., Liver transplant-free survival., Esophageal varices., Hepatocellular carcinoma.

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The Official Journal of the Mexican Association of Hepatology, the Latin-American Association for the Study of the Liver and the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver

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