The Microbiome and Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis: The Gut Microbiome and the Liver

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Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is a chronic cholestatic liver disease with detrimental sequela. In many patients, PSC progresses to end-stage liver disease and hepatobiliary cancer. There is no medical therapy that is proven to halt or reverse the progression of PSC. Approximately 70 to 80% of PSC patients have inflammatory bowel disease, usually ulcerative colitis. The etiology of PSC is poorly understood. Several lines of evidence suggest that the intestinal microbiota plays an important role in the etiopathogenesis of PSC. Stemming from this theory, several antibiotics have been tried in PSC, some of which had shown promising results. Fecal microbiota transplantation is a novel therapy, and is currently being investigated as a potential therapeutic strategy in PSC along with probiotics. In this article, the authors discuss the current knowledge of the intestinal microbiota in PSC.

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