International Liver Congress

International Liver Congress

April 12, 2018
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Statins associated with lower risk for liver transplant, death in PSC

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PARIS — Patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis who took statins – likely for another indication – showed reduced risk for transplant and morbidity, according to a presenter at the International Liver Congress 2018.

“Statins ... was the drug [class] that was most beneficial for this patient population,” Annika Bergquist, MD, PhD, of the unit of gastroenterology and rheumatology, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, said during a press conference.

In this nationwide, population-based study, Bergquist and colleagues looked at 2,914 Swedish patients with sclerosing cholangitis who also had a diagnosis of ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, using the theory that PSC and inflammatory bowel disease are closely linked. They used Cox regression analysis to determine all-cause mortality, liver transplantation and adverse liver events, adjusting for age at PSC diagnosis, date of IBD diagnosis and sex.

About 60% of patients received ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) and 13.9% (n = 404) received statins. The HR for all-cause mortality with UDCA was 1.04 (95% CI, 0.87-1.25) and 1.34 (95% CI, 1.12-1.62) for mortality and liver transplant, Bergquist showed. She noted patients receiving UDCA may have more advanced PSC.

“The risk for having a liver transplant or dying is halved if you’re exposed to statins,” she said.

Bergquist showed that statins correlated with lower risks for all-cause mortality (HR = 0.68; 95% CI, 0.54-0.88), mortality and liver transplantation (HR = 0.5; 95% CI, 0.28-0.66) and adverse liver events (HR = 0.53; 95% CI, 0.36-0.8).

“This is a hypothesis-generating study. This is not the base to treat everyone with statins, but it is definitely a promising candidate for further clinical trials,” Bergquist said. – by Katrina Altersitz

For more information:

Stokkeland K, et al. PS-128. Presented at: International Liver Congress; Apr. 11-15, 2018; Paris, France.

Disclosure: The authors report no relevant financial relationships.