Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Earlier Diagnosis And Treatment Of Primary Biliary Cirrhosis In Families Now Possible

Date:
September 14, 2007
Source:
Mayo Clinic
Summary:
Researchers have found that first-degree relatives (i.e., parents, siblings, children) of patients with primary biliary cirrhosis are more likely to have the biomarker of the disease in their blood. Armed with this new information, physicians could screen and assess first-degree relatives of PBC patients with a simple blood test, enabling them to diagnose and treat more patients before the disease causes irreversible liver damage.

Mayo Clinic researchers have found that first-degree relatives (i.e., parents, siblings, children) of patients with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) are more likely to have the biomarker of the disease in their blood.

Armed with this new information, physicians could screen and assess first-degree relatives of PBC patients with a simple blood test, enabling them to diagnose and treat more patients before the disease causes irreversible liver damage. These findings were published in this month's issue of Hepatology.

PBC is a chronic liver disease that affects nearly 50,000 people (primarily women) in North America. In individuals who have PBC, the bile ducts are slowly destroyed, causing harmful substances to build up in the liver and sometimes resulting in irreversible scarring of liver tissue and liver failure. About half of PBC patients have no symptoms and are diagnosed following abnormal results of routine liver tests.

Anti-mitochondrial antibodies are the biomarker, or the substance that correlates with the risk or presence of a disease, for PBC. This study, the largest of its kind, tested for anti-mitochondrial antibodies in 306 first-degree relatives of adult PBC patients and 196 healthy adults. The prevalence in first-degree relatives was 13.1 percent, compared to 1 percent in the control group of healthy adults.

Even greater prevalence was found in female relatives, with 20.7 percent of sisters, 15.1 percent of mothers and 9.8 percent of daughters having anti-mitochondrial antibodies in their blood. While testing positive for anti-mitochondrial antibodies does not always lead to a diagnosis of PBC, the presence of these antibodies indicates a predisposition to develop the illness, particularly in the context of family history of the disease.

"Most PBC patients have no symptoms, but early detection is important because timely treatment can slow the progression of the disease before liver failure occurs," says Konstantinos Lazaridis, M.D., the study's lead author and a hepatologist at Mayo Clinic. "Because collectively one in five sisters of a PBC patient has anti-mitochondrial antibodies in their blood, we think it is worthwhile to screen first-degree relatives, particularly those older than 40 years, for this biomarker. It is a simple, inexpensive blood test that could lead to earlier diagnosis and treatment -- and ultimately, better outcomes for PBC patients."

According to Dr. Lazaridis, the study's findings regarding anti-mitochondrial antibodies in PBC relatives could also be important to better understanding the known genetic predisposition to PBC. His research team plans to continue screening and monitoring first-degree relatives of PBC patients over many years to further examine these findings and to shed light on the cause of this disease.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Mayo Clinic. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Mayo Clinic. "Earlier Diagnosis And Treatment Of Primary Biliary Cirrhosis In Families Now Possible." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 14 September 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070910132402.htm>.
Mayo Clinic. (2007, September 14). Earlier Diagnosis And Treatment Of Primary Biliary Cirrhosis In Families Now Possible. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 16, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070910132402.htm
Mayo Clinic. "Earlier Diagnosis And Treatment Of Primary Biliary Cirrhosis In Families Now Possible." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/09/070910132402.htm (accessed April 16, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Ebola Outbreak Now Linked To 121 Deaths

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) The ebola virus outbreak in West Africa is now linked to 121 deaths. Health officials fear the virus will continue to spread in urban areas. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Cognitive Function: Is It All Downhill From Age 24?

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) A new study out of Canada says cognitive motor performance begins deteriorating around age 24. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

How Mt. Everest Helped Scientists Research Diabetes

Newsy (Apr. 15, 2014) British researchers were able to use Mount Everest's low altitudes to study insulin resistance. They hope to find ways to treat diabetes. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Carpenter's Injury Leads To Hundreds Of 3-D-Printed Hands

Carpenter's Injury Leads To Hundreds Of 3-D-Printed Hands

Newsy (Apr. 14, 2014) Richard van As lost all fingers on his right hand in a woodworking accident. Now, he's used the incident to create a prosthetic to help hundreds. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins