Get access

Quantitative testing of liver function compared to prognostic scores in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis


Detlef Schuppan, MD, PhD, Medizinische Klinik I mit Poliklinik, Krankenhausstr. 12, 91054 Erlangen, Germany. Tel: +49-9131-8533398. Fax: +49-9131-8536003. E-mail: detlef.schuppan@med1.imed.


Abstract:  Aim: Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is a slowly progressive liver disease which can lead to cirrhosis. We investigated if quantitative tests of liver function (QTLF) and serum levels of a surrogate marker of hepatic fibrogenesis (PIIINP) provide information in addition to established prognostic scores.

Methods: In 34 PBC patients PIIINP, PBC-relevant parameters, histological staging and QTLF at entry and at 2 years were determined and compared with the Christensen (CPS I, CPS II) and Mayo prognosis score. QTLF included aminopyrine breath test, galactose elimination capacity, sorbitol and indocyanine green clearance.

Results: Bilirubin, serum IgM and PIIINP were elevated at both time points, whereas albumin and prothrombin time remained normal. Clinical findings (ascites, cirrhosis, central cholestasis) and histological staging worsened after 2 years, as did the CPS II. However, QTLF, PIIINP, CPS I and the Mayo score revealed no significant changes.

Conclusions: Only CPS II changed after 2 years, whereas CPS I and the Mayo score remained unaltered. QTLF and PIIINP did not provide any further information on progression of PBC, suggesting that QTLF cannot predict prognosis of PBC patients in a two-year interval and that CPS II is superior to CPS I and the Mayo score in short-term studies for PBC.