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Danute Speiciene, Algimantas Irnius, Ulrich Leuschner, Valentina Liakina, Teresa Semuchiniene, Ausrine Barakauskiene
Med Sci Monit 2007; 13(7): CR299-306
The rising detection and considerable geographical variation of primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) in some regions demand increased awareness of the disease. The aim was to analyze the clinical, biochemical, immunological, and histological criteria of PBC patients in Lithuania and evaluate the patterns of disease presentation and histological features.
One hundred thirty-one PBC patients were examined and followed in the Center of Hepatology, Gastroenterology, and Dietetics, Vilnius University Hospital. Their case records were evaluated in this retrospective record-review study.
Most of the patients were women (94.6%) older than 50 years with late stages of PBC. Men were significantly older and had a threefold shorter duration from disease presentation to diagnosis (4.0±0.4 vs. 1.4±0.4 years). 29.8% of patients had asymptomatic disease at presentation and at diagnosis, were older than the symptomatic ones, and presented with significantly lower prevalence of jaundice, skin signs, and lower alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity, but higher frequency of sicca syndrome. Antimitochondrial antibody (AMA) positivity was found in 91.7%, bile duct lesions in all patients, while the frequency of histological signs of cholestasis (except copper accumulation) was lower. No significant differences in these parameters in asymptomatic and symptomatic patients were found.
Most PBC patients in Lithuania were at late histological stages, with a predominance of females older than 50 years and long duration from disease presentation to diagnosis. One third of these PBC patients initially had asymptomatic course, with some differences in clinical signs and their prevalence compared with initially symptomatic patients.