Characterization and treatment of persistent hepatocellular secretory failure

Remco van Dijk, Andreas E. Kremer, Wouter Smit, Bram van den Elzen, Thomas van Gulik, Dirk Gouma, Johan S. Lameris, Hennie Bikker, Valentine Enemuo, Pieter C. F. Stokkers, Mark Feist, Piter Bosma, Peter L. M. Jansen, Ulrich Beuers*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review


Hepatocellular secretory failure induced by drugs, toxins or transient biliary obstruction may sometimes persist for months after removal of the initiating factor and may then be fatal without liver transplantation. We characterized patients with severe persistent hepatocellular secretory failure (PHSF) and treated them with the pregnane X receptor (PXR) agonist, rifampicin. We also studied the effect of rifampicin on PXR-dependent expression of genes involved in biotransformation and secretion in vitro.Thirteen patients (age 18-81 years, 6 male) with hepatocellular secretory failure that persisted after removal of the inducing factor (drugs/toxin: 9) or biliary obstruction (4) were identified over 6 years. Six of these patients were screened for ATP8B1 or ABCB11 mutations. All were treated with rifampicin (300 mg daily) for 1-10 weeks. Expression of genes involved in biotransformation and secretion was determined by rtPCR in human hepatocytes and intestinal cells incubated with rifampicin (10 ?mol/L).Serum bilirubin of patients with PHSF ranged from 264 to 755 ?mol/L. Normal ?GT was found in 10/13 patients of whom 3/6 tested positive for ATP8B1/ABCB11 mutations. Serum bilirubin declined to
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1478-1488
JournalLiver International
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2015


  • ABCB11
  • ATP8B1
  • cholestasis
  • pregnane X receptor
  • rifampicin

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