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The management of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is hindered by incomplete understanding of the pathogenesis of the disease and the lack of good prognostic models. Few large randomized controlled trials of drug therapy have been published. Best practice in the management of PSC is currently based therefore on careful interpretation of the available evidence, close observation of individual patients and clinical experience of the disease. Drug therapy is useful for alleviating symptoms. Ursodeoxycholic acid may slow progression of the disease and reduce the frequency of complications. Consensus is emerging on the issues of screening for the malignant complications of PSC and the indications for liver transplantation are becoming broader and encompassing the earliest stages of cholangiocarcinoma. In view of the rarity of the disease in the general population, large international collaborations to study PSC are necessary to provide clearer answers in areas of uncertainty, and these are now beginning to emerge.

Original publication




Journal article


Aliment Pharmacol Ther

Publication Date





933 - 948


Cholagogues and Choleretics, Cholangitis, Sclerosing, Cholestasis, Combined Modality Therapy, Endoscopy, Digestive System, Humans, Immunosuppressive Agents, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, Liver Cirrhosis, Liver Failure, Liver Transplantation, Stents, Ursodeoxycholic Acid