Primary Biliary Cholangitis management: controversies, perspectives, and daily practice implications from an expert panel

Link to article at PubMed

Liver Int. 2020 Aug 5. doi: 10.1111/liv.14627. Online ahead of print.


Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) is a rare progressive immune-mediated liver disease that, if not adequately treated, may culminate in end-stage disease and need for transplantation. According to current guidelines, PBC is diagnosed in the presence of anti-mitochondrial antibodies (AMA)- or specific anti-nuclear antibodies, and of a cholestatic biochemical profile, while biopsy is recommended only in selected cases. All patients receive ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) in first line; the only registered second line-therapy is obeticholic acid for UDCA-inadequate responders. Despite the recent advances in understanding PBC pathogenesis and developing new treatments, many grey areas remain. Six Italian experts selected the following topics as the most urgent to address in PBC management: diagnosis and natural history of PBC: as a portion of the subjects with isolated AMA, normal alkaline phosphatase levels and no symptoms of liver disease could have PBC by histology, defining how to manage and follow this population is crucial; role of liver biopsy: recent evidence suggests that biopsy may provide relevant information for risk stratification and prediction of UDCA response, possibly facilitating personalized approaches; risk stratification: the tools for risk stratification are well established, but some issues (e.g. bile acid dosage in routine practice) remain controversial; therapy: those in more advanced stages of development are nuclear receptor modulators and fibrates, but more data are needed to plan personalized strategies. In this manuscript, for each topic, current evidence, controversies, and future perspectives are summarized with the possible implications for clinical practice.

PMID:32757367 | DOI:10.1111/liv.14627

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