JOURNAL ARTICLE
REVIEW

[Primary sclerosing cholangitis—diagnosis and therapy]

Lucija Virović, Vladimir Supanc, Marko Duvnjak
Acta Medica Croatica: C̆asopis Hravatske Akademije Medicinskih Znanosti 2003, 57 (3): 207-19
14582467
Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is a chronic cholestatic liver disease of unknown origin, characterized by inflammation, fibrosis, and obliteration of bile ducts, which ultimately results in biliary cirrhosis. The condition most commonly affects intrahepatic and extrahepatic bile ducts together, but sometimes only intrahepatic or extrahepatic ducts are involved. PSC is often associated with inflammatory bowel disease, especially ulcerative colitis. The majority of patients are initially asymptomatic, and identified on the basis of elevated serum levels of alkaline phosphatase or gamma-glutamyl transpeptidase, especially while screening patients with ulcerative colitis. Diagnosis is based on characteristic cholangiographic appearance with focal bile duct dilatations proximal to areas of stricturing that produce a beaded appearance. Ursodeoxycholic acid is most effective medical therapy, with other symptomatic measures, while liver transplantation is the treatment of choice for patients with advanced liver disease.

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