Incidence, clinical spectrum, and outcomes of primary sclerosing cholangitis in a United States community

Gastroenterology. 2003 Nov;125(5):1364-9. doi: 10.1016/j.gastro.2003.07.011.


Background & aims: The epidemiology of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) in the United States is unknown. We report the incidence, clinical spectrum, and outcomes of PSC in Olmsted County, Minnesota.

Methods: Using the Rochester Epidemiology Project, a medical records linkage system in Olmsted County, Minnesota, we identified county residents with PSC, and the diagnosis was confirmed according to clinical, biochemical, radiographic, and histologic criteria.

Results: Twenty-two patients met diagnostic criteria for PSC in 1976-2000. The age-adjusted (to 2000 U.S. whites) incidence of PSC in men was 1.25 per 100,000 person-years (95% CI, 0.70 to 2.06) compared with 0.54 per 100,000 person-years (95% CI, 0.22 to 1.12) in women. The prevalence of PSC in 2000 was 20.9 per 100,000 men (95% CI, 9.5 to 32.4) and only 6.3 per 100,000 women (95% CI, 0.1 to 12.5). Seventy-three percent of cases had inflammatory bowel disease, the majority with ulcerative colitis. Survival among PSC patients was significantly less than expected for the Minnesota white population of similar age and gender (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: These data represent the first population-based estimates of the incidence and prevalence of PSC in the United States. The incidence and prevalence of PSC were approximately one third of those previously described for primary biliary cirrhosis in the same population. Our data suggest that the prevalence of PSC in the United States, with its attendant medical burdens, is significantly greater than previously estimated.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cholangitis, Sclerosing / complications
  • Cholangitis, Sclerosing / epidemiology*
  • Cholangitis, Sclerosing / physiopathology*
  • Cholangitis, Sclerosing / surgery
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / complications
  • Liver Transplantation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mortality
  • Prevalence
  • Sex Distribution
  • United States / epidemiology