Gastroenterology covers a wide range of conditions that impact the GI tract. In this article, we are going to discuss Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis – its causes, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment.
What is Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis?
Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) is an idiopathic condition defined as the presence of beading and stricture formation of the intra and/or extrahepatic bile ducts that cannot be ascribed to another cause. PSC is characterized by inflammation, fibrosis, and stricturing of medium and large ducts in the intrahepatic and/or extrahepatic biliary tree. Many, if not most, cases of PSC are associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is a chronic cholestatic liver and biliary tract disease that has a highly variable natural history. PSC may be asymptomatic for long periods but may also have an aggressive course, leading to recurrent biliary tract obstruction, recurrent episodes of cholangitis, and may progress to end-stage liver disease.
Signs & Symptoms
A large number ( >50%) of patients present without symptoms. However, those who do present with symptoms may experience any of the following:
- Rectal bleeding
Diagnosis of PSC
Diagnosing PSC is the first step in treating the condition. To diagnose the condition, your physician will begin with a physical exam. Other diagnostic tests may also be required. Liver biopsy is not necessary to make a diagnosis in patients with suspected PSC based on diagnostic cholangiographic findings. However, liver biopsy is recommended to make a diagnosis in patients with suspected small duct PSC or to exclude other conditions such as suspected overlap syndrome with autoimmune hepatitis.
The gastroenterology experts at Bhatti GI provide unparalleled compassion and care to each and every patient. Dr. Bhatti is one of the most experienced and respected GI doctors in Minnesota with twenty years in practice and over 40,000 advanced procedures under his belt. Contact us today to set up your appointment at one of our gastroenterology clinics in Edina and Chaska.