Background and aim: The prevalence and clinical significance of extrahepatic autoimmune diseases (EHAIDs) have not been evaluated in a large cohort of primary biliary cholangitis (PBC).
Methods: The medical records of 1554 patients with PBC from 20 international centers were retrospectively reviewed. Development of decompensated cirrhosis (ascites, variceal bleeding, and/or hepatic encephalopathy) and hepatocellular carcinoma were considered clinical endpoints.
Results: A total of 35 different EHAIDs were diagnosed in 440 (28.3%) patients with PBC. Patients with EHAIDs were more often female (92.5% vs 86.1%, P < 0.001) and seropositive for anti-mitochondrial antibodies (88% vs 84%, P = 0.05) and antinuclear antibodies and/or smooth muscle antibodies (53.8% vs 43.6%, P = 0.005). At presentation, patients with EHAIDs had significantly lower levels of alkaline phosphatase (1.76 vs 1.98 × upper limit of normal [ULN], P = 0.006), aspartate aminotransferase (1.29 vs 1.50 × ULN, P < 0.001), and total bilirubin (0.53 vs 0.58 × ULN, P = 0.002). Patients with EHAIDs and without EHAIDs had similar rates of GLOBE high-risk status (12.3% vs 16.1%, P = 0.07) and Paris II response (71.4% vs 69.4%, P = 0.59). Overall, event-free survival was not different in patients with and without EHAIDs (90.8% vs 90.7%, P = 0.53, log rank). Coexistence of each autoimmune thyroid diseases (10.6%), Sjögren disease (8.3%), systemic sclerosis (2.9%), rheumatoid arthritis (2.7%), systemic lupus erythematosus (1.7%), celiac disease (1.7%), psoriasis (1.5%), and inflammatory bowel diseases (1.3%) did not influence the outcome.
Conclusions: Our study confirms that EHAIDs are frequently diagnosed in patients with PBC. The presence of EHAIDs may influence the clinical phenotype of PBC at presentation but has no impact on PBC outcome.
Keywords: Ankylosing spondylitis; Anti-phospholipid syndrome; Autoimmune hemolytic anemia; Idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura; IgA nephropathy; Multiple sclerosis; Polyarteritis nodosa; Polymyositis; Sarcoidosis; Temporal arteritis.
© 2020 Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology Foundation and John Wiley & Sons Australia, Ltd.