Hepatobiliary Manifestations and Complications in Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Review

Fotios S Fousekis, Vasileios I Theopistos, Konstantinos H Katsanos, Epameinondas V Tsianos, Dimitrios K Christodoulou
Gastroenterology Research 2018, 11 (2): 83-94
Liver and biliary track diseases are common extraintestinal manifestations of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), reported both in Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and may occur at any time during the natural course of the disease. Their etiology is mainly related to pathophysiological changes induced by IBD, and secondary, due to drugs used in IBD. Fatty liver is considered as the most frequent hepatobiliary manifestation in IBD, while primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is the most correlated hepatobiliary disorder and is more prevalent in patients with ulcerative colitis. PSC can cause serious complications from the liver, biliary tree, and gallbladder and can lead to liver failure. Less frequently, IBD-associated hepatobiliary manifestations include cholelithiasis, granulomatous hepatitis, portal vein thrombosis, IgG4-related cholangiopathy, pyogenic liver abscess, hepatic amyloidosis and primary biliary cirrhosis. Most of the drugs used for IBD treatment may cause liver toxicity. Methotrexate and thiopurines carry the higher risk for hepatotoxicity, and in many cases, dose adjustment may normalize the liver biochemical tests. Reactivation of hepatitis B and C virus during immunosuppressive use, especially during use of biological agents, is a major concern, and adequate screening, vaccination and prophylactic treatment is warranted.

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