Tauroursodeoxycholic acid administration as adjuvant therapy in cirrhotic patients on transplantation waiting lists

S. Caglieris, E. Giannini, G. Dardano, L. Mondello, U. Valente, R. Testa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background/Aims: The lack of organ availability and an increased number of end-stage cirrhotic patients has led to the lengthening of liver transplantation waiting lists. The progressive worsening of clinical and functional performance in patients awaiting the graft is one of the factors implicated in the increased mortality during the wait and in poor transplantation outcome. In this work our aim was to evaluate the effects of tauroursodeoxycholic acid administration on biochemical, clinical and functional parameters in a group of cirrhotic patients consecutively placed onto our liver transplantation waiting list. Methodology: Ten cirrhotic patients underwent biochemical, clinical and functional evaluation at the time of entering on our liver transplantation waiting list, then tauroursodeoxycholic acid was administered until liver transplantation. Complete evaluation was repeated every 2 months. The results were compared to those of a comparable historical control group that had undergone liver transplantation the year before the study. Results: All patients were transplanted within 6 months from insertion on the waiting list. Longitudinal analysis of the treated group showed that cholestasis and cytolisis parameters constantly decreased and that γ-glutamyl transpeptidase was significantly lower compared to baseline values at the 4th month of therapy. Clinical and functional parameters remained stable during follow-up. Comparison with the control group showed that γ-glutamyl transpeptidase, alkaline phosphatase and both aminotransferases were reduced at the 4th month of therapy. Fewer days of hospital stay and less intensive care were required in the treated group. Conclusions: Treatment of end-stage cirrhotic patients awaiting liver transplantation with tauroursodeoxycholic acid improves biochemical parameters of cytolisis and cholestasis, and furthermore helps to maintain clinical and functional stability during the wait. Improved biochemical conditions and steady clinical-functional performance may promote better short-term transplant outcome.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1045-1047
Number of pages3
Issue number34
Publication statusPublished - 2000


  • Liver transplantation
  • Tauroursodeoxy-cholic acid

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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