Treatment of hypercholesterolemia in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis might be more beneficial than indicated

Balmer, Maria Luisa; Dufour, Jean-François (2008). Treatment of hypercholesterolemia in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis might be more beneficial than indicated. Swiss medical weekly, 138(29-30), pp. 415-9. Muttenz: EMH Schweizerischer Ärzteverlag

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Cholesterol circulating levels are elevated in most of the patients with primary biliary cirrhosis. This review questions whether hypercholesterolaemia represents a cardiovascular risk in primary biliary cirrhosis and whether it should be treated. The published evidence indicates that hypercholesterolaemia in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis should be considered a cardiovascular risk factor only when other factors are present. Ursodeoxycholic acid the standard treatment of primary biliary cirrhosis improves the cholestasis and hereby lowers circulating levels of cholesterol. Primary biliary cirrhosis is not a contraindication to prescribe statins or fibrates to these patients. Interestingly, these two classes of drugs have been shown to improve not only the lipid profile but also the liver tests. In particular fibrates have been found to normalize liver tests in patients responding incompletely to ursodeoxycholic acid. Statins as well as fibrates possess specific anti-inflammatory properties which may be beneficial in primary biliary cirrhosis. In conclusion, hypercholesterolaemia in the absence of other cardiovascular risk factors does not require specific therapeutic intervention in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis. However, statins as well as fibrates seem to have beneficial effects on the primary biliary cirrhosis itself and deserve formal testing within clinical trials.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Further Contribution)


04 Faculty of Medicine > Service Sector > Institute of Clinical Pharmacology and Visceral Research [discontinued]
04 Faculty of Medicine > Department of Gastro-intestinal, Liver and Lung Disorders (DMLL) > Clinic of Visceral Surgery and Medicine > Hepatology

UniBE Contributor:

Balmer, Maria Luisa and Dufour, Jean-François






EMH Schweizerischer Ärzteverlag




Factscience Import

Date Deposited:

04 Oct 2013 15:05

Last Modified:

04 May 2014 23:20

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URI: (FactScience: 120262)

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