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Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is a chronic, progressive disease of the bile duct system. The bile duct system carries bile from the liver and gallbladder into the first part of the small intestine, called the duodenum.
Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis: What You Need to Know
- Most patients with PSC are men; diagnosis usually occurs around 40 years of age.
- Inflammatory bowel disease increases your risk for developing PSC.
- A specialized test called an Endoscopic Retrograde Cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) is often used to diagnose PSC.
- There are many treatment options for PSC, ranging from medication to surgery.
PSC occurs when the bile duct system becomes inflamed, then scarred and thickened (sclerotic), and ultimately obstructed. Usually a blockage or obstruction in the bile duct system causes the inflammation. Patients with PSC often have underlying conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease).
Read a more in-depth article about PSC, written by Johns Hopkins gastroenterologists, which details the anatomical description of the causes of PSC.
Read our FAQs about PSC.
Why choose Johns Hopkins Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology for primary sclerosing cholangitis?
A laparoscopic liver biopsy provides an accurate diagnosis with a minimally invasive procedure.Find out more about liver biopsy.