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Asymptomatic primary biliary cirrhosis : clinical features, prognosis and symptom progression in a large population based cohort.

Prince, M. I. and Chetwynd, A. and Craig, W. L. and Metcalf, J. V. and James, O. F. W. (2004) Asymptomatic primary biliary cirrhosis : clinical features, prognosis and symptom progression in a large population based cohort. Gut, 53 (6). pp. 865-870. ISSN 0017-5749

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Abstract

Background: Many patients with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) are asymptomatic at the time of diagnosis. However, because most studies of asymptomatic PBC have been small and from tertiary centres, asymptomatic PBC remains poorly characterised. Aims: To describe the features and progression of initially asymptomatic PBC patients. Methods: Follow up by interview and note review of a large geographically and temporally defined cohort of patients with PBC, collected by multiple methods. Results: Of a total of 770 patients, 469 (61%) were asymptomatic at diagnosis. These patients had biochemically and histologically less advanced disease than initially symptomatic patients. Median survival was similar in both groups (9.6 v 8.0 years, respectively) possibly due to excess of non-liver related deaths in asymptomatic patients (31% v 57% of deaths related to liver disease). Survival in initially asymptomatic patients was not affected by subsequent symptom development. By the end of follow up, 20% of initially asymptomatic patients had died of liver disease or required liver transplantation. The majority of initially asymptomatic patients developed symptoms of liver disease if they were followed up for long enough (Kaplan-Meier estimate of proportion developing symptoms: 50% after five years, 95% after 20 years). However, 45% of patients remained asymptomatic at the time of death. Conclusions: Although asymptomatic PBC is less severe at diagnosis than symptomatic disease, it is not associated with a better prognosis, possibly due to an increase in non-hepatic deaths. The reasons for this are unclear but may reflect confounding by other risk factors or surveillance bias. These findings have important implications for future treatment strategies.

Item Type: Article
Journal or Publication Title: Gut
Additional Information: RAE_import_type : Journal article RAE_uoa_type : Statistics and Operational Research
Uncontrolled Keywords: primary biliary cirrhosis ; asymptomatic ; symptom progression ; prognosis
Subjects: R Medicine > RB Pathology
Departments: Faculty of Science and Technology > Mathematics and Statistics
VC's Office
ID Code: 2410
Deposited By: ep_importer
Deposited On: 31 Mar 2008 15:49
Refereed?: Yes
Published?: Published
Last Modified: 26 Jul 2012 16:21
Identification Number:
URI: http://eprints.lancs.ac.uk/id/eprint/2410

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