Author(s): Chazouillres O, Wendum D, Serfaty L, Rosmorduc O, Poupon R
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Abstract BACKGROUND/AIMS: Whether primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC)-autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) overlap syndrome requires immunosuppressive therapy in addition to ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) is a controversial issue. METHODS: Seventeen patients with simultaneous form of strictly defined overlap were followed for 7.5 years. First-line treatment was UDCA alone (UDCA) in 11 and combination of immunosuppressors and UDCA (UDCA + IS) in 6. RESULTS: Characteristics at presentation were not significantly different between the 2 groups. In the UDCA + IS group (f-up 7.3 years), biochemical response in terms of AIH features (ALT<2ULN and IgG < 16 g/L) was achieved in 4/6 and fibrosis did not progress. In the UDCA group, biochemical response was observed in three patients together with stable or decreased fibrosis (f-up 4.5 years) whereas the eight others were non-responders with increased fibrosis in four (f-up 1.6 years). Seven of these eight patients subsequently received combined therapy for 3 years. Biochemical response was obtained in 6/7 and no further increase of fibrosis was demonstrated. Overall, fibrosis progression in non-cirrhotic patients occurred more frequently under UDCA monotherapy (4/8) than under combined therapy (0/6) (P = 0.04). CONCLUSIONS: Combination of UDCA and immunosuppressors appears to be the best therapeutic option for strictly defined PBC-AIH overlap syndrome.
This article was published in J Hepatol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology