Written by Staff Writer
(CNN) — With a study that challenges current guidelines on the treatment of cases of primary cholangitis, the World Health Organization has revised its guidance for the treatment of these diseases.
The Omicron variant is the most common form of primary cholangitis, a condition in which bile ducts become blocked and leading to increases in bile production which can lead to liver diseases, according to the WHO’s statement.
The Omicron variant differs from the common Delta variant which affects approximately 70% of cases, and the guidelines were based on those figures, while the new review notes that it affects 9% of cases.
Currently, the WHO guideline recommends treating these patients with supportive and anticoagulant therapy to help reduce bleeding, but the review states that these supportive therapies “cannot explain the observed differences between the affected and non-affected patients.”
Of the 2,700 cases studied, the authors wrote that the overall follow-up in the non-affected group was shorter by an average of ten months. Overall mortality rates, the authors noted, were lower in the affected group than in the non-affected group.
If untreated, primary cholangitis can lead to serious complications, including liver failure, kidney failure and death.