A case report of immunoglobulin G4-related sclerosing cholangitis with multiple relapse

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Rationale:Immunoglobulin G4-related sclerosing cholangitis (IgG4-SC) is classified as a biliary tract manifestation of immunoglobulin G4-related disease (IgG4-RD). Glucocorticoid is the first-line therapy for most patients, but the optimal starting dose, adequate maintaining dose and withdrawal time remain disputable.Patient concerns:An elderly male patient presented to our hospital with neoplasms of the bile duct and pancreas at first visit in December 2011. Further examination revealed bile duct stenosis and obstruction, and elevated serum IgG4 level.Diagnoses:A diagnosis of IgG4-SC was established by examination results and effectiveness of steroid therapy, although IgG4-positive plasma cells were seldom seen in the liver sample.Interventions:Prednisolone was started from 40 mg daily, tapered gradually, and totally withdrawn after 22 months of treatment.Outcomes:A new-onset cholangitis was detected 2 months later. Prednisolone 10 mg daily was administered again. Prednisolone was reduced to 5 mg every other day without consultation with his doctor 1 year ago in May 2017, then he presented to our hospital again with recurrent abdominal pain and jaundice.Lessons:IgG4-SC is a protean condition and can be distinguished from primary sclerosing cholangitis, malignancy, and other inflammatory disorders based on 4 clinical criteria. Serum IgG4/IgG1 ratio is a practicable diagnostic algorithm to distinguish PSC from IgG4-SC. The dose and duration of glucocorticoid for treatment should be adjusted according to clinical situations, and proper maintaining dose is essential for a better prognosis.

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