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1.  Trends in liver transplantation for primary biliary cirrhosis in the Netherlands 1988-2008 
BMC Gastroenterology  2010;10:144.
Background
A decrease in the need for liver transplantations (LTX) in Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (PBC), possibly related to treatment with ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA), has been reported in the USA and UK. The aim of this study was to assess LTX requirements in PBC over the past 20 years in the Netherlands.
Methods
Analysis of PBC transplant data of the Dutch Organ Transplant Registry during the period 1988-2008, including both absolute and proportional numbers. The indication for LTX was categorized as liver failure, hepatocellular carcinoma or poor quality of life (severe fatigue or pruritus). Data were analysed for two decades: 1.1.1988-31.12.1997 (1st) and 1.1.1998-31.12.2007 (2nd). The severity of disease was quantified using MELD scores. To fit lines which show trends over time we applied a linear regression model.
Results
A total of 110 patients (87% women) was placed on the waiting list. 105 patients were transplanted (1st: 61, 2nd: 44), 5 (5%) died while listed. The absolute annual number of LTX for PBC slightly decreased during the 20 year period, the proportional number decreased significantly. At the time of LTX the mean age was 53.6 yrs. (1st: 53.4, 2nd: 53.8), the mean MELD score 13.9 (1st:14.5, 2nd:13.0). The median interval from diagnosis to LTX was 90.5 months (1st:86.5, 2nd: 93.5). 69% of patients was treated with UDCA (1st 38%, 2nd 82%).
Conclusions
Over the past 20 years the absolute number of LTX for PBC in the Netherlands showed a tendency to decrease whereas the proportional decrease was significant. There was a trend over time toward earlier transplantation.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-10-144
PMCID: PMC3020176  PMID: 21172005
2.  The relation between plasma tyrosine concentration and fatigue in primary biliary cirrhosis and primary sclerosing cholangitis 
BMC Gastroenterology  2005;5:11.
Background
In primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) fatigue is a major clinical problem. Abnormal amino acid (AA) patterns have been implicated in the development of fatigue in several non-hepatological conditions but for PBC and PSC no data are available. This study aimed to identify abnormalities in AA patterns and to define their relation with fatigue.
Methods
Plasma concentrations of tyrosine, tryptophan, phenylalanine, valine, leucine and isoleucine were determined in plasma of patients with PBC (n = 45), PSC (n = 27), chronic hepatitis C (n = 22) and healthy controls (n = 73). Fatigue and quality of life were quantified using the Fisk fatigue severity scale, a visual analogue scale and the SF-36.
Results
Valine, isoleucine, leucine were significantly decreased in PBC and PSC. Tyrosine and phenylalanine were increased (p < 0.0002) and tryptophan decreased (p < 0.0001) in PBC. In PBC, but not in PSC, a significant inverse relation between tyrosine concentrations and fatigue and quality of life was found. Patients without fatigue and with good quality of life had increased tyrosine concentrations compared to fatigued patients. Multivariate analysis indicated that this relation was independent from disease activity or severity or presence of cirrhosis.
Conclusion
In patients with PBC and PSC, marked abnormalities in plasma AA patterns occur. Normal tyrosine concentrations, compared to increased concentrations, may be associated with fatigue and diminished quality of life.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-5-11
PMCID: PMC1079813  PMID: 15790420
3.  Fluvoxamine for fatigue in primary biliary cirrhosis and primary sclerosing cholangitis: a randomised controlled trial [ISRCTN88246634] 
BMC Gastroenterology  2004;4:13.
Background
Fatigue is a major clinical problem in many patients with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC). An effective treatment has not been defined. Recently, a large proportion of patients with these diseases was found to have symptoms of depression. Because fatigue is a frequent symptom of depression and there is some evidence that treatment with an antidepressant improves fatigue in patients with fibromyalgia, we hypothesised that the antidepressant fluvoxamine might improve fatigue related to PBC and PSC.
Methods
Fatigued patients were randomised to receive fluvoxamine (75 mg BID) or placebo for a six-week period. Fatigue and quality of life were quantified using a visual analogue scale, the Fisk Fatigue Severity Scale, the Multidimensional Fatigue Inventory and the SF-36.
Results
Seventeen and 16 patients were allocated to fluvoxamine and placebo, respectively. There was no statistically significant beneficial effect of fluvoxamine on fatigue or quality of life. The median VAS scores in the fluvoxamine and placebo groups were 7.40 and 7.45 at day 0, 6.9 and 7.15 at day 14, 7.45 and 7.65 at day 42 and 7.8 and 8.0 four weeks after treatment discontinuation.
Conclusion
We found no evidence for a beneficial effect of fluvoxamine on fatigue in these patients with cholestatic liver disease and severe chronic fatigue.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-4-13
PMCID: PMC481069  PMID: 15251034
4.  Endoscopic sclerotherapy compared with no specific treatment for the primary prevention of bleeding from esophageal varices. A randomized controlled multicentre trial [ISRCTN03215899] 
BMC Gastroenterology  2003;3:22.
Background
Since esophageal variceal bleeding is associated with a high mortality rate, prevention of bleeding might be expected to result in improved survival. The first trials to evaluate prophylactic sclerotherapy found a marked beneficial effect of prophylactic treatment. These results, however, were not generally accepted because of methodological aspects and because the reported incidence of bleeding in control subjects was considered unusually high. The objective of this study was to compare endoscopic sclerotherapy (ES) with nonactive treatment for the primary prophylaxis of esophageal variceal bleeding in patients with cirrhosis.
Methods
166 patients with esophageal varices grade II, III of IV according to Paquet's classification, with evidence of active or progressive liver disease and without prior variceal bleeding, were randomized to groups receiving ES (n = 84) or no specific treatment (n = 82). Primary end-points were incidence of bleeding and mortality; secondary end-points were complications and costs.
Results
During a mean follow-up of 32 months variceal bleeding occurred in 25% of the patients of the ES group and in 28% of the control group. The incidence of variceal bleeding for the ES and control group was 16% and 16% at 1 year and 33% and 29% at 3 years, respectively. The 1-year survival rate was 87% for the ES group and 84% for the control group; the 3-year survival rate was 62% for each group. In the ES group one death occurred as a direct consequence of variceal bleeding compared to 9 in the other group (p = 0.01, log-rank test). Complications were comparable for the two groups. Health care costs for patients assigned to ES were estimated to be higher. Meta-analysis of a large number of trials showed that the effect of prophylactic sclerotherapy is significantly related to the baseline bleeding risk.
Conclusion
In the present trial, prophylactic sclerotherapy did not reduce the incidence of bleeding from varices in patients with liver cirrhosis and a low to moderate bleeding risk. Although sclerotherapy lowered mortality attributable to variceal bleeding, overall survival was not affected. The effect of prophylactic sclerotherapy seems dependent on the underlying bleeding risk. A beneficial effect can only be expected for patients with a high risk for bleeding.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-3-22
PMCID: PMC194733  PMID: 12919638
5.  Bacterial cholangitis causing secondary sclerosing cholangitis: A case report 
BMC Gastroenterology  2002;2:14.
Background
Although bacterial cholangitis is frequently mentioned as a cause of secondary sclerosing cholangitis, it appears to be extremely rare, with only one documented case ever reported.
Case presentation
A 48-year-old woman presented with an episode of acute biliary pancreatitis that was complicated by pancreatic abcess formation. After 3 months she had an episode of severe pyogenic (E. Coli) cholangitis that recurred over the subsequent 7 months on a further two occasions. Initially, cholangiography suggested the presence of extra-biliary intrahepatic abcesses while repeated investigations demonstrated development of multiple segmental biliary duct strictures. After maintenance antibiotic treatment was started, no episodes of cholangitis occurred over a 14-month period.
Conclusions
Sclerosing cholangitis can rapidly develop after an episode of bacterial cholangitis. Extra-biliary involvement of the hepatic parenchyma with abcess formation may be a risk factor for developing this rare but particularly severe complication.
doi:10.1186/1471-230X-2-14
PMCID: PMC116430  PMID: 12057011

Results 1-5 (5)