Fat-soluble vitamin levels in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis

Am J Gastroenterol. 2001 Sep;96(9):2745-50. doi: 10.1111/j.1572-0241.2001.04134.x.


Objective: To determine the occurrence of fat-soluble vitamin deficiencies and to identify clinical factors that may predict vitamin deficiency in patients with primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC).

Methods: Review of our data from a randomized, placebo-controlled trial that evaluated the efficacy of UDCA in 180 patients with PBC. We use the first available measurements of vitamin levels in each study participant. Vitamin levels for A, D, and E were measured in serum. The prothrombin time (PT) was used as a surrogate marker for vitamin K.

Results: The proportion of patients with fat-soluble vitamin deficiencies in the treatment and placebo groups was similar and the data sets were combined. The proportion with vitamin A, D, E or K deficiency was 33.5%, 13.2%, 1.9%, and 7.8%, respectively. In multivariate analysis, the Mayo risk score, advanced histological stage, and total cholesterol were independently associated with vitamin A deficiency whereas serum albumin levels was independently associated with vitamin D deficiency. No factors were associated with vitamin E or K deficiency in multivariate analysis owing to the few vitamin E and K deficient patients. Factors predictive of vitamin K deficiency by univariate analysis included Mayo risk score, advanced histological stage, HDL, total bilirubin, AST, and albumin. The cut-off value of the Mayo risk score with the highest sensitivity and specificity for vitamin A deficiency was 5.0.

Conclusion: Other than deficiency of vitamin A, deficiency of fat-soluble vitamins occurs uncommonly in patients with PBC. A Mayo risk score > or = 5 helps in selecting patients with PBC for surveillance for vitamin A deficiency.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Biliary / blood*
  • Middle Aged
  • Regression Analysis
  • Solubility
  • Vitamin A / blood*
  • Vitamin D / blood*
  • Vitamin E / blood*
  • Vitamin K / blood*


  • Vitamin A
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin D
  • Vitamin E