Use of ursodeoxycholic acid in patients with hypertransaminasemia

  • Claudio Puoti | puoti@epatologia.org Department of Internal Medicine and Hepato-Gastroenterology, Marino General Hospital, Marino (RM), Italy.
  • Maria Giuseppa Elmo Rome-A Health District, Rome, Italy.

Abstract

Ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) is a hydrophilic bile acid deriving from 7β epimerization of primary bile compound chenodeoxycholic acid. It may have antioxidant, immunomodulatory, antifibrotic and cytoprotective effects, therefore it has been extensively used in the treatment of cholestatic chronic liver diseases (primary biliary cirrhosis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, cholestasis of pregnancy, etc.). Due to the effectiveness of UDCA in decreasing serum liver enzyme levels also in non-cholestatic patients with chronic liver damage of various etiologies, this bile acid is now extensively used in clinical practice in combination with standard therapies, or as alternative treatment. In this paper, after a review of the biochemistry and physiology of UDCA, we have analyzed available data from the international literature on the efficacy and safety of UDCA in patients with hypertransaminasemia due to non-cholestatic chronic liver diseases, such as chronic viral hepatitis B and C and liver steatosis, the three main causes of aminotransferase elevation in western countries.

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Published
2014-09-18
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Section
Reviews
Keywords:
aminotransferases, bile acids, chronic viral hepatitis, steatosis, ursodeoxycholic acid.
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How to Cite
Puoti, C., & Elmo, M. G. (2014). Use of ursodeoxycholic acid in patients with hypertransaminasemia. Italian Journal of Medicine, 8(3), 141-147. https://doi.org/10.4081/itjm.2014.426