Background. The usefulness of ursodeoxycholic acid after liver transplantation is controversial. Tauroursodeoxycholic acid, the natural taurine-amidate, is a highly hydrophilic and cytoprotective bile salt currently under investigation. Aims. To investigate the clinical usefulness of tauroursodeoxycholic acid after liver transplantation. Patients. Thirty-three patients undergoing liver transplantation entered the study. Methods. Sixteen patients were randomized to receive tauroursodeoxycholic acid (250 b.i.d. for 12 months) and 17 served as controls. Tauroursodeoxycholic acid was given from day 5 after transplantation for one year. Results. Tauroursodeoxycholic acid treatment was safe and well tolerated. No drop outs occurred. Among the 29 patients undergoing long-term follow-up, five deaths occurred (3 of whom in the tauroursodeoxycholic acid group), none of which was related to treatment. The one-year actuarial survival was 78.6% in patients treated with tauroursodeoxycholic acid and 86.7% in controls (n.s.). No differences were observed with respect to early or ante graft function and survival, nor to acute cellular rejection. Tauroursodeoxycholic acid therapy was associated with lower serum cholesterol levels (p <0.02) during the early postoperative months; with milder cholestasis; with a drop in biliary cholates but no changes in endogenous hydrophobic bile salts. Conclusions. Long-term treatment with low dose tauroursodeoxycholic acid after liver transplantation is safe but does not affect graft function and survival.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||Italian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology|
|Publication status||Published - 1999|
- Early graft function
- Liver transplantation
ASJC Scopus subject areas