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Combined ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) and fenofibrate in primary biliary cholangitis patients with incomplete UDCA response may improve outcomes



Combined ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) and fenofibrate in primary biliary cholangitis patients with incomplete UDCA response may improve outcomes



Alimentary Pharmacology and Therapeutics 43(2): 283-293



Fibrates appear to improve biochemistry in patients with primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), but it is unclear which factors predict response and whether treatment improves transplant-free survival. To evaluate biochemical profiles, liver-related outcomes and adverse events following fenofibrate therapy in PBC patients with incomplete response to ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA). A retrospective cohort study was performed at a tertiary centre. Cox regression was used to compare outcomes between patients treated with fibrates and UDCA (FF) or UDCA alone, adjusted for a propensity score to account for treatment selection bias. A total of 120 patients were included (FF group n = 46, UDCA group n = 74, median fenofibrate treatment 11 months); 41% vs. 7% met the Toronto criteria for biochemical response [alkaline phosphatase ≤1.67 times the upper limit of normal] in the FF and UDCA groups, respectively (P = 0.0001). Fenofibrate was also associated with improved decompensation-free and transplant-free survival [hazard ratio (HR) 0.09, 95% CI 0.03-0.32, P = 0.0002]. However, only fenofibrate use, not biochemical response, was independently associated with improved outcomes on multivariable analysis (HR 0.40, 95% CI 0.17-0.93, P = 0.03). Twenty-two percent discontinued fenofibrate due to adverse events (most common: abdominal pain and myalgias). In cirrhotic patients, bilirubin increased more rapidly in the FF group (P = 0.005). Fenofibrate therapy is associated with significant improvement in alkaline phosphatase, decompensation-free and transplant-free survival in PBC patients with incomplete UDCA response. However, fenofibrate should be used cautiously in cirrhosis, with close monitoring for clinical/biochemical decompensation. Additional studies are required to assess the validity of alkaline phosphatase as an appropriate response criteria for fibrate therapy.

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Accession: 057445054

Download citation: RISBibTeXText

PMID: 26559762

DOI: 10.1111/apt.13465


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