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Volume 66 - 2003 - Fasc.4 - Case series

The use of ursodeoxycholic acid in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis : sense or nonsense

Ursodeoxycholic acid is the most widely evaluated drug for the treatment of primary biliary cirrhosis. The results of the first ran- domized controlled trials are very discordant in terms of survival benefit. This, however, can be explained by differences in metho- dology and insufficiently long period of treatment and follow-up. It has clearly been demonstrated that serum bilirubin levels and histological parameters such as piecemeal necrosis and fibrosis are validated predictors of prognosis in PBC. We re-analyzed the alre- ady published data using these parameters as surrogate end- points. This analysis reveals that there is a significant positive effect of treatment of PBC with UDCA on serum bilirubin levels as well as on the progression of piecemeal necrosis and fibrosis. We therefore conclude that UDCA has a positive effect on the progno- sis of PBC and can slow down the progression to end stage liver disease. (Acta gastroenterol. belg., 2003, 66, 283-287).


Gastric emptying in infants and children

Nutrients have to be taken in and assimilated by digestive and absorptive processes. The gastro-intestinal tract and gastro-intestinal motility are key in this process, which can be divided in different steps. One essential part is gastric emptying (GE). GE is influenced by multiple factors such as humoral control mecha- nisms, intrinsic and extrinsic neural regulation and com- position of feedings.