Cholestatic Liver Injury: Care of Patients With Primary Biliary Cholangitis or Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis

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The most common causes of chronic cholestatic liver disease are primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC). Both disease processes are characterized by a destruction of intrahepatic and/or extrahepatic biliary ducts. The etiology is not entirely clear; however, there is an underlying autoimmune component contributing to both disease processes. Although PBC and PSC are often diagnosed and managed in the outpatient setting, in some instances, a patient may have jaundice, fatigue, and pruritus requiring evaluation and determination of the cholestatic cause. Patients with PSC should be monitored for evidence of cholangiocarcinoma, colon cancer, and gallbladder polyps as they are at an increased risk of malignant neoplasms. Liver transplant has the potential for improving quality of life, although disease recurrence is a risk.

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