- Almost half of patients with early-stage primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) progress to a more severe stage within 5 years of follow-up, increasing their risk for cirrhosis and liver failure requiring transplant.
Why this matters
- Surveillance is important in patients with early-stage PBC; those who progress to moderate and advanced stages may need different follow-up regimens with closer surveillance.
- Researchers analysed the health records of patients with early-stage PBC (N=1615; mean age, 55.4±11.9 years; 91.6% women; median follow-up, 7.9 years).
- They reviewed evaluations on progression to moderate PBC or advanced-stage PBC.
- Funding: Intercept Pharmaceuticals; Foundation for Liver and Gastrointestinal Research.
- During the study period, 904 patients transitioned to moderate PBC at 1 year (12.9%), 3 years (30.2%), or 5 years (45.8%).
- Subsequent transitions to advanced PBC occurred in 201 patients 1 (3.4%), 3 (12.5%), or 5 (16.0%) years later.
- Factors linked to transitions to moderate PBC included:
- Baseline levels of albumin, bilirubin, and alkaline phosphatase.
- Aspartate to alanine aminotransferase ratio.
- Platelet count.
- Treatment with ursodeoxycholic acid.
- The study was retrospective.
- Data on cofactors such as alcohol consumption or obesity were not available.