Pharmacological treatment of biliary cirrhosis with ursodeoxycholic acid.
Primary biliary cirrhosis is a cholestatic liver disease that at one time was the leading indication for liver transplantation. Treatment with ursodeoxycholic acid has clearly improved the natural history of primary biliary cirrhosis. The treatment of primary biliary cirrhosis with a focus on ursodeoxycholic acid is covered. Papers related to treatment of primary biliary cirrhosis and associated conditions, using a variety of drugs but with a focus on ursodeoxycholic acid, are included. The papers reviewed date from 1984 - 2009. The reader will gain an up-to-date understanding of current treatment strategies for primary biliary cirrhosis using ursodeoxycholic acid and an appreciation of what conditions are improved with this therapy and what associated conditions are not. Ursodeoxycholic acid in a dose of 13 - 15 mg/kg/day should be considered in all patients with primary biliary cirrhosis who have abnormal liver enzymes.