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Cleveland, Ohio 44195


Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is cholestatic liver disease characterized by progressive destruction of small bile ducts within the liver that can lead to end stage liver disease and all its complications. Although ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) is associated with increased survival in many patients with PBC, there is absence of an adequate response to UDCA in a significant proportion of PBC patients. Tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-alpha) is a cytokine that plays an important role in the pathogenesis of PBC. Pentoxifylline (PTX) is a methylxanthine derivative that inhibits production of TNF-alpha. Furthermore, PTX has well known clinical and safety profiles. The main hypothesis of this study is that therapy with pentoxifylline (PTX) will result in improvement of liver disease in PBC patients who are incomplete responders to UDCA. The focus of this proposal is on the effectiveness of PTX in improving laboratory parameters of liver disease and levels of cytokines involved in the pathogenesis of the disease in patients with PBC.


Inclusion Criteria: - Male and female patients ages 18 to 70 years. - Established diagnosis of PBC based on at least three of the following criteria: - Detectable anti-mitochondrial antibodies (AMA) - Cholestatic biochemical pattern - Liver biopsy compatible with PBC - Appropriate exclusion of other liver diseases. - Therapy with UDCA at adequate dose (13-15mg/kg/d) for at least six months and evidence of suboptimal response defined by alkaline phosphatase levels that did not normalize and remain elevated by at least 1.5 times the upper limit of normal. - No history or present hepatic decompensation (e.g. variceal hemorrhage, encephalopathy, or poorly controlled ascites). Exclusion Criteria: - Findings highly suggestive of liver disease of other etiology. - A score >=10 points on the Revised Scoring System for autoimmune hepatitis (AIH), supporting a diagnosis of PBC/AIH overlap. - Patients on steroids (systemic), immunosuppressants, or immunomodulatory agents within the previous 6 months. - Patients with clinical or laboratory evidence suggestive of decompensated cirrhosis. - Hypersensitivity to PTX or the methylxanthines (caffeine, theophylline, theobromine). - History of cerebral or retinal hemorrhage. - Other medical comorbidities (such as cardiac, renal, cancer) that would interfere with completion of the study. - Patients taking Theophylline or Coumadin because of potential drug-drug interactions with PTX. In addition, patients taking low molecular weight heparin preparations. - Pregnant or nursing women.



Primary Contact:

Principal Investigator
Claudia O. Zein, MD, MSc
The Cleveland Clinic

Backup Contact:


Location Contact:

Cleveland, Ohio 44195
United States

There is no listed contact information for this specific location.

Site Status: N/A

Data Source: ClinicalTrials.gov

Date Processed: August 31, 2019

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