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Primary sclerosing cholangitis is a chronic cholestatic liver disease characterized by a progressive, obliterating fibrosis of the intrahepatic and extrahepatic bile ducts. The pathogenesis of PSC is unknown, but it is thought to be an immune-mediated disease. Although the role of cupruretics, immunosuppressants (corticosteroids, azathioprine, tacrolimus, methotrexate), antifibrogenic agents, and ursodeoxycholic acid in the treatment of primary sclerosing cholangitis is reviewed, none of these agents has been shown to retard or reverse the rate of disease progression. Of these therapies, ursodeoxycholic acid at high doses looks the most promising, but large trials are needed to establish whether treatment with high-dose ursodeoxycholic acid influences the morbidity and mortality associated with primary sclerosing cholangitis.

Type

Journal article

Journal

Clin Liver Dis

Publication Date

05/1998

Volume

2

Pages

353 - x

Keywords

Adrenal Cortex Hormones, Cholangitis, Sclerosing, Cholestasis, Humans, Immunosuppressive Agents, Methotrexate, Penicillamine, Ursodeoxycholic Acid