Adjuvant treatment with ursodeoxycholic acid reduces acute rejection after liver transplantation
Acute rejection, occurring with a reported frequency of 50–70%, is still a dominating problem after liver transplantation. Medication with ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) has beneficial effects in different cholestatic conditions and has also been shown to reduce HLA class I antigen expression on hepatocytes in patients with PBC. Since August 1989 we have consecutively treated all patients with primary graft function with UDCA (n = 41). Patients transplanted in the first half of 1989 served as a control group (n = 8). All patients in this study were given sequential quadruple drug immunosuppression. The treatment group were given oral UDCA 10 mg/kg per day. During the first postoperative month, 17% of the UDCA-treated patients had an episode of acute rejection compared with 75% of the control patients (P < 0.01). Liver biochemistry tests 1 month postoperatively were significantly better in patients treated with UDCA. The results suggest that adjuvant treatment with UDCA reduces acute liver graft rejection.
Key wordsUrsodeoxycholic acid Liver Liver transplantation Rejection Immunosuppression
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