Primary biliary cirrhosis is associated with oxidative stress and endothelial dysfunction but not increased cardiovascular risk

William J. Cash, David R. McCance, Ian S. Young, Jane McEneny, Ian S. Cadden, Neil I. McDougall, Michael E. Callender

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25 Citations (Scopus)
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Aim: Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is a chronic cholestatic disease which is associated with hypercholesterolaemia. Further, cholestatic diseases are associated with deficiencies of anti-oxidant vitamins. Despite these associations PBC is not associated with an increase in cardiovascular mortality. The aim of this study is to assess if primary biliary cirrhosis is associated with oxidative stress, endothelial dysfunction and alteration of vascular compliance which is a surrogate marker for cardiovascular risk.

Methods: Fifty-one PBC patients and 34 control subjects were studied. Lipid soluble vitamins A, and E in addition to ascorbate and carotenoids were measured to assess anti-oxidant status. C-reactive protein, hydroperoxides and adhesion molecules sICAM-l/sVCAM-l were assessed as serological measures of endothelial function. Finally, measures of vascular compliance were assessed by applanation tonometer.

Results: CRP, sICAM and sVCAM were all significantly higher in PBC patients (469.14 vs 207.13, P < 0.001; 768.12 vs 308.03,P < 0.001; 708.40 vs 461.31, P < 0.001) whilst anti-oxidant vitamin levels were lower in PBC patients, with ascorbate, vitamin E and vitamin A all significantly lower in PBC patients (39.91 vs 72.68, P < 0.001; 2.63 vs 3.14, P = 0.02; 1.08 vs 1.81, P < 0.001). Despite these findings PBC patients have a lower pulse wave velocity than control subjects (8.22 m/s vs 8.78 m/s, P = 0.022).

Conclusion: PBC patients appear to have reduced vascular risk as assessed by pulse wave velocity but concurrently have evidence of endothelial dysfunction, inflammation and anti-oxidant deficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1098-1106
Number of pages9
JournalHepatology Research
Issue number11
Early online date26 Oct 2010
Publication statusPublished - 01 Nov 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Infectious Diseases


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