To detect this difference with a significance level of 0.05 and a power of 80% in a two-tailed test,
17 participants had to be included in each treatment arm. Considering a 10% dropout rate, we determined that the total number to be included should be 38 patients. An interim analysis was not performed. Both a modified intention-to-treat analysis and a per protocol analysis were performed. Statistical differences were evaluated for the two groups by both parametric and nonparametric tests. A P value <0.05 (two-tailed) was considered statistically significant. SPSS 15.0 was used to perform analyses. We included and randomized 38 patients, 35 of whom were analyzed because one patient withdrew from participation after randomization and before the start of treatment, one patient stopped the intake of naltrexone during the trial period, and one patient was Smad inhibitor unable to fill out the questionnaires. Both a modified intention-to-treat
analysis (n = 36) and a per protocol analysis (n = 35) were performed, and the results were concordant. For matters of clarity, we decided to describe the 35 patients randomized and treated according to protocol. Of the remaining 35 participants, 17 were treated with colesevelam, and 18 were treated with a placebo. Eight patients were treatment-naive, whereas 27 patients had already been treated with one or more antipruritic drugs. Symptoms had been present for a median period of 24 months (range = 1-360 months). All 35 participants completed the trial. The collection of study data, which included the questionnaires, VAS scores, Autophagy Compound Library in vitro and laboratory studies, was complete. Both groups were comparable with respect to age, baseline biochemistries, and use of ursodeoxycholic acid (Table 1). With respect to etiology, however, Dichloromethane dehalogenase the majority of patients with primary biliary cirrhosis were assigned to the placebo group (10/14). Conversely, the majority of patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis were assigned
to the colesevelam group (10/14). Because primary biliary cirrhosis is a disease mostly affecting females, whereas primary sclerosing cholangitis predominantly affects males, this distribution explains the observed difference in the male/female ratio between the two groups. Other etiologies of cholestatic pruritus were alcoholic cirrhosis, cirrhotic hepatitis C, biliary atresia, sarcoidosis hepatis, and adenosine triphosphate–binding cassette B4 (multidrug resistance protein 3) deficiency in one case each. In two cases, the etiology of the liver disease was cryptogenic. No patient reported an atopic constitution. At entry, all participants graded the severity of pruritus as severe. In most patients (89%), pruritus was most severe in the evening and/or at night. Scratch lesions of any type or severity were present in 55% of cases. These lesions were found primarily on the extremities and the back. On average, 10% to 30% of the total body area showed abnormalities secondary to scratching.