Lumacaftor-ivacaftor effects on cystic fibrosis-related liver involvement in adolescents with homozygous F508 del-CFTR

Background: The effects of lumacaftor-ivacaftor on cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR)-associated liver disease remain unclear. The objective of the study was to describe the effect of this treatment on features of liver involvement in a cystic fibrosis (CF) adolescent population homozygous for F508del.

Methods: Clinical characteristics, liver blood tests, abdominal ultrasonography (US), and pancreas and liver proton density fat fraction (PDFF) by magnetic resonance imaging, were obtained at treatment initiation and at 12 months for all patients. Biomarkers of CFTR activity (sweat chloride test, nasal potential difference, and intestinal current measurement) were assessed at initiation and at 6 months therapy.

Results: Of the 37 patients who started ivacaftor/lumacaftor treatment, 28 were eligible for analysis. In this group, before treatment initiation, 4 patients were diagnosed with multinodular liver and portal hypertension, 19 with other forms of CF liver involvement, and 5 with no signs of liver involvement. During treatment, no hepatic adverse reactions were documented, and no patient developed liver failure. Serum levels of alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and gammaglutamyl transferase (GGT) decreased significantly following initiation of lumacaftor-ivacaftor, and remained so after 12 months treatment. This was not correlated with changes in clinical status, liver and pancreas US and PDFF, fecal elastase, or lumacaftor-ivacaftor serum levels. The most "responsive" patients demonstrated a significant increase in biomarkers of CFTR activity.

Conclusions: These results may suggest a potential beneficial effect of CFTR modulators on CF liver disease and warrant further investigation in larger, prospective studies.

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