Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC)

PSC Facts

Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis is an uncommon chronic liver disease in which the bile ducts inside and outside the liver progressively decrease in size due to inflammation and scarring (fibrosis). The disease may occur alone, but frequently is associated with inflammatory diseases of the colon, especially chronic ulcerative colitis.
The cause of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) remains unknown. Liver damage and cirrhosis is often presumed to be caused by drinking too much alcohol, however, PSC is not related to alcohol in any way. Current evidence suggests that the disease may be triggered by an unknown bacteria or virus in people who are genetically programmed to get the disease. The common viruses known to cause hepatitis have not been associated with it. The frequent occurrence of PSC in association with inflammatory bowel disease suggests that a common cause for both diseases may exist or that the inflamed colon allows toxins or infections to be absorbed into the body and this can cause the bile duct inflammation. The disease affects both genders, although two male patients are affected for every female patient and it can affect all ages.