Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:


Researchers Find High-Dose Therapy for Liver Disease Not Effective

High-dose ursodeoxycholic acid detrimental for treatment of primary sclerosing cholangitis

A national team of researchers led by scientists at Mayo Clinic has found that a common treatment for primary sclerosing cholangitis, a chronic liver disease, is not helpful for patients, according to a study published this month in the journal Hepatology.

Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is a disease of the bile ducts. In this case, the term "cholangitis" refers to inflammation of the bile ducts, while "sclerosing" describes the hardening and scarring of the bile ducts that result from chronic inflammation.

"Primary sclerosing cholangitis is a serious liver disease lacking an effective medical therapy," says Keith Lindor, M.D., Mayo Clinic gastroenterologist and the study's lead researcher. "Some studies have shown that the use of ursodeoxycholic acid, a naturally occurring bile acid, may be a potential solution for patients. Our research, however, showed long-term use of this treatment in high dosages is not suitable for patients."

In this six-year, multicenter trial, 150 patients were enrolled in the study to determine the effectiveness of ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) in treatment of PSC. Seventy-six patients were treated with higher doses (28 to 30 mg/kg/day) of UDCA and 74 patients were given a placebo. Serious adverse events were more common in the UDCA group than the placebo group, which prompted researchers to halt the study. UDCA has been thought to be a possible treatment solution for PSC patients, but this trial indicates that the drug, used at this higher dose, is not helpful.

"All of us were surprised that the higher doses of UDCA did not help; in fact, the risk of developing even more liver problems increased with the higher dosages," says Dr. Lindor. "While this was thought to be the best potential treatment for PSC, our study found that not to be the case."

Dr. Lindor says that patients who are currently on higher doses of UDCA should consult with their doctors. He also points out that these study findings highlight the need for more research to look into better treatment options for PSC.

PSC is a progressive disease that leads to liver damage and, eventually, liver failure. Liver transplant is the only known cure for PSC, but transplant is typically reserved for people with severe liver damage.

PSC most often affects people in their 30s to 50s. The average age at diagnosis is 40. However, the condition can arise in childhood. About 60 to 75 percent of people diagnosed with the disease are men. Approximately 70 percent of people with PSC have an associated disease such as inflammatory bowel disease, osteoporosis, gallbladder disease and bile duct cancer or cholangiocarcinoma. However, only 1 to 5 percent of people with inflammatory bowel disease have PSC.

Mayo Clinic's Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology has been ranked #1 in the U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll of Top Hospitals since the rankings began 20 years ago.

Other members of the Mayo Clinic research team include M. Edwyn Harrison, M.D., Denise Harnois, D.O., Roberta Jorgensen, Jan Petz, Jill Keach, Julie Braaten, M.D., Ellen Miceli, Jeff Schmoll, Tanya Hoskin, Prabin Thapa and Felicity Enders, Ph.D. Other researchers include Kris Kowdley, M.D., and Jody Mooney, M.D., Virginia Mason Medical Center; Velimir Luketic, M.D., and Carol Sargeant, M.D., Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine; Timothy McCashland, M.D., and Tamara Bernard, M.D., University of Nebraska; and Alex Befeler, M.D., and Debra King, M.D., Saint Louis University.

For more information on liver transplantation at Mayo Clinic, please visit

About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is the first and largest integrated, not-for-profit group practice in the world. Doctors from every medical specialty work together to care for patients, joined by common systems and a philosophy of "the needs of the patient come first." More than 3,300 physicians, scientists and researchers and 46,000 allied health staff work at Mayo Clinic, which has sites in Rochester, Minn., Jacksonville, Fla., and Scottsdale/Phoenix, Ariz. Collectively, the three locations treat more than half a million people each year. To obtain the latest news releases from Mayo Clinic, go to For information about research and education visit is available as a resource for your health stories.

Amy Tieder | EurekAlert!
Further information:

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht New potential cancer treatment using microwaves to target deep tumors
12.10.2016 | University of Texas at Arlington

nachricht Breakthrough in Mapping Nicotine Addiction Could Help Researchers Improve Treatment
04.10.2016 | UT Southwestern Medical Center

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: New 3-D wiring technique brings scalable quantum computers closer to reality

Researchers from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo led the development of a new extensible wiring technique capable of controlling superconducting quantum bits, representing a significant step towards to the realization of a scalable quantum computer.

"The quantum socket is a wiring method that uses three-dimensional wires based on spring-loaded pins to address individual qubits," said Jeremy Béjanin, a PhD...

Im Focus: Scientists develop a semiconductor nanocomposite material that moves in response to light

In a paper in Scientific Reports, a research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute describes a novel light-activated phenomenon that could become the basis for applications as diverse as microscopic robotic grippers and more efficient solar cells.

A research team at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has developed a revolutionary, light-activated semiconductor nanocomposite material that can be used...

Im Focus: Diamonds aren't forever: Sandia, Harvard team create first quantum computer bridge

By forcefully embedding two silicon atoms in a diamond matrix, Sandia researchers have demonstrated for the first time on a single chip all the components needed to create a quantum bridge to link quantum computers together.

"People have already built small quantum computers," says Sandia researcher Ryan Camacho. "Maybe the first useful one won't be a single giant quantum computer...

Im Focus: New Products - Highlights of COMPAMED 2016

COMPAMED has become the leading international marketplace for suppliers of medical manufacturing. The trade fair, which takes place every November and is co-located to MEDICA in Dusseldorf, has been steadily growing over the past years and shows that medical technology remains a rapidly growing market.

In 2016, the joint pavilion by the IVAM Microtechnology Network, the Product Market “High-tech for Medical Devices”, will be located in Hall 8a again and will...

Im Focus: Ultra-thin ferroelectric material for next-generation electronics

'Ferroelectric' materials can switch between different states of electrical polarization in response to an external electric field. This flexibility means they show promise for many applications, for example in electronic devices and computer memory. Current ferroelectric materials are highly valued for their thermal and chemical stability and rapid electro-mechanical responses, but creating a material that is scalable down to the tiny sizes needed for technologies like silicon-based semiconductors (Si-based CMOS) has proven challenging.

Now, Hiroshi Funakubo and co-workers at the Tokyo Institute of Technology, in collaboration with researchers across Japan, have conducted experiments to...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>



Event News

#IC2S2: When Social Science meets Computer Science - GESIS will host the IC2S2 conference 2017

14.10.2016 | Event News

Agricultural Trade Developments and Potentials in Central Asia and the South Caucasus

14.10.2016 | Event News

World Health Summit – Day Three: A Call to Action

12.10.2016 | Event News

Latest News

Innovative technique for shaping light could solve bandwidth crunch

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

Finding the lightest superdeformed triaxial atomic nucleus

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

NASA's MAVEN mission observes ups and downs of water escape from Mars

20.10.2016 | Physics and Astronomy

More VideoLinks >>>