Additional fibrate treatment in UDCA-refractory PBC patients

Sung Won Chung, Jeong Hoon Lee, Minseok Albert Kim, Galam Leem, Sun Woong Kim, Young Chang, Hyo Young Lee, Jun Sik Yoon, Jun Yong Park, Yun Bin Lee, Eun Ju Cho, Su Jong Yu, Yoon Jun Kim, Jung Hwan Yoon

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20 Citations (Scopus)


Background & Aims: There is no proven treatment for ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA)-refractory primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) other than obeticholic acid. Although fibrates have been reported to improve biochemical parameters, the long-term effects remain unclear. This study evaluated the effect of fibrate on clinical outcomes of UDCA-refractory PBC. Methods: Patients whose alkaline phosphatase (ALP) was not normalized with at least 13 mg/kg of UDCA treatment for >1 year were included from two tertiary referral centres. The primary outcome was ALP normalization. Secondary outcomes included the development of cirrhosis and hepatic deterioration. Immortal time bias was adjusted using the Mantel-Byar method. Results: A total of 100 UDCA-refractory PBC patients were included: 71 patients received UDCA alone (the UDCA group) and 29 patients received UDCA plus additional fibrate treatment of 160 mg/d fenofibrate or 400 mg/d bezafibrate (the fibrate/UDCA group). During the follow-up period, the probability of ALP normalization was significantly higher in the fibrate/UDCA group (hazard ratio [HR] = 5.00, 95% confidence interval = 2.87-8.27, P < 0.001). Among 58 non-cirrhotic patients (43 in the UDCA group and 15 in the fibrate/UDCA group), 19 patients (44.1%) in the UDCA group and none in the fibrate/UDCA group developed cirrhosis (HR = 0.12, P = 0.04). Hepatic deterioration (Child-Pugh score increase or signs of decompensated cirrhosis) occurred in 17 patients (23.9%) of the UDCA group and none in the fibrate/UDCA group in which the difference was significant (HR = 0.12, P = 0.04). Conclusions: In patients with UDCA-refractory PBC, additional fibrate treatment is associated with a higher probability of ALP normalization and a lower risk of cirrhosis development and hepatic deterioration.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1776-1785
Number of pages10
JournalLiver International
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Sept 1

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Funding information This work was supported by grants from Liver Research Foundation of Korea as part of Bio Future Strategies Research Project and from Seoul National University Hospital Research Fund (grant number: 03-2016-0380).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2019 John Wiley & Sons A/S. Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Hepatology


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