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Hyperlipidaemia in primary biliary cholangitis: treatment, safety and efficacy
  1. Martin I Wah-Suarez1,
  2. Christopher J Danford2,
  3. Vilas R Patwardhan2,
  4. Z Gordon Jiang2,
  5. Alan Bonder2
  1. 1 Department of Internal Medicine, University Hospital ’Dr. José Eleuterio González', Monterrey, Mexico
  2. 2 Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Alan Bonder, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA; abonder{at}


Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) is an autoimmune liver disease associated with altered lipoprotein metabolism, mainly cholesterol. Hypercholesterolaemia, a major modifiable risk factor for cardiovascular disease in the general population, occurs in 75%–95% of individuals with PBC. The impact of hypercholesterolaemia on cardiovascular risk in PBC, however, is controversial. Previous data have shown that hypercholesterolaemia in PBC is not always associated with an increase in cardiovascular events. However, patients with PBC with cardiovascular risk factors may still warrant cholesterol-lowering therapy. Treatment of hypercholesterolaemia in PBC poses unique challenges among primary care providers due to concerns of hepatotoxicity associated with cholesterol-lowering medications. This review summarises the current understanding of the pathophysiology of hypercholesterolaemia in PBC and its pertinent cardiovascular risk. We will also discuss indications for treatment and the efficacy and safety of available agents for hypercholesterolaemia in PBC.

  • cardiovascular disease
  • primary biliary cirrhosis
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  • MIW-S and CJD contributed equally.

  • Contributors MIWS, CJD, VRP, ZGJ and AB all contributed to conception and editing of the manuscript. MIWS and CJD wrote the manuscript. CJD and AB are guarantors of the work.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

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