[Hepatobiliary complications of idiopathic intestinal inflammations]

M Lukás
Casopís Lékar̆ů C̆eských 1997 February 12, 136 (4): 106-10
Extraintestinal manifestations and metabolic complications are very frequent in patients with idiopathic inflammations of the gut and are encountered in at least 35% of these patients. In Crohn's disease extraintestinal manifestations are more frequent than in ulcerative colitis, in particular when the large bowel is affected. Metabolic complications are the result of inflammatory changes of the small intestine or develop as a result of the reduced reabsorption surface of the gut. As to the relationship to the activity of the idiopathic inflammation of the gut, extraintestinal manifestations can be differentiated into those which depend on the activity of the basic disease and those which lack this dependence. From the aspect of a long-term prognosis extraintestinal manifestation independent on the activity of the inflammation of the gut are much more serious, because as a rule they have a long-term and usually progressive trend. The most serious extraintestinal complication is primary sclerotizing cholangitis which in the majority of patients leads to destruction of the biliary pathways and the development of biliary cirrhosis. Depending on the predominantly affected site of the biliary system, primary sclerotizing cholangitis is divided into three types. It is encountered much more frequently in ulcerative colitis than in Crohn's disease. Treatment of primary sclerotizing cholangitis is not very effective. At present it appears that the only drug with an effect on the course of the disease is long-term administration of urodesoxycholic acid. For patients with manifestations of hepatic insufficiency the only solution is transplantation of the liver. In all patients where the diagnosis of primary sclerotizing cholangitis was established, at the same time the possibility of inclusion in a transplantation programme should be considered. The relationship between sclerotizing cholangitis and pericholangitis has not been resolved conclusively. At present the majority of authors is inclined to believe that pericholangitis is part of changes associated with sclerotizing cholangitis. Other hepatobiliary complications of idiopathic inflammations of the gut such as cholelithiasis and parenchymatous liver damage, steatosis of the liver and chronic autoimmune hepatitis are not such a serious problem as sclerotizing cholangitis.

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