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The cause of PSC is still unknown but results in damage, thickening, and scarring of bile ducts as a consequence of chronic inflammation. PSC is closely associated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), particularly ulcerative colitis, and most patients with PSC also have IBD.




  • itching (pruritis)
  • fatigue
  • jaundice – early signs may include dark urine or pale bowel motions
  • abdominal pain
  • chills and fever (if bile ducts are infected)
  • depression


PSC cannot be diagnosed through abnormal blood tests alone. A detailed MRI scan of the bile ducts (MRCP- magnetic resonance cholangio-pancreatography) may show characteristic irregularity of the bile ducts. A rarer, but milder form of PSC, called small duct PSC may be diagnosed through a liver biopsy.


•PSC is a chronic condition that requires long term monitoring and treatment
•Stents can be inserted to widen blocked ducts
•A liver transplant is the only current definitive cure.



The immune system attacks liver cells, leading to inflammation and, sometimes fibrosis or cirrhosis.


Abnormal liver and immunological blood tests and/or liver biopsy can indicate a diagnosis of AIH.

Autoimmune Hepatitis


•Control the immune response to minimise any further liver damage and allow a degree of repair to occur.
•Prescription of steroids (e.g. prednisolone) to settle the inflammation rapidly. An immunomodulator drug (“steroid-sparing agent”) is usually added to minimise the amount of steroid required to control the disease.
•Steroids may be stopped after some time and the condition controlled with the immunomodulator alone, although sometimes additional medications may be required.
•AIH is a chronic condition that requires long term monitoring and treatment.

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials for treatment of Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis & Autoimmune Hepatitis are run by Dr Emma Culver