IgG4-related sclerosing cholangitis with and without hepatic inflammatory pseudotumor, and sclerosing pancreatitis-associated sclerosing cholangitis: do they belong to a spectrum of sclerosing pancreatitis?

Am J Surg Pathol. 2004 Sep;28(9):1193-203. doi: 10.1097/01.pas.0000136449.37936.6c.


Sclerosing cholangitis (SC) is a heterogeneous disease entity. Different etiologies such as choledocholithiasis, biliary tumor, or pericholangitis can manifest as SC. Hepatic inflammatory pseudotumor (IP) is rarely associated with SC (sclerosing cholangitis associated with hepatic inflammatory pseudotumor; SC-hepatic IP), but sclerosing pancreatitis (SP) is not infrequently associated with bile duct lesions (sclerosing pancreatitis-associated sclerosing cholangitis; SP-SC). In this study, we compared the histologic changes of hepatic hilar and extrahepatic bile duct lesions of SC (7 cases), SC-hepatic IP (5 cases), SP-SC (5 cases), and typical primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) (5 cases). Histologically, all SP-SC cases showed extensive and dense fibrosis with marked lymphoplasmacytic infiltration, many eosinophils, and obliterative phlebitis. Four cases of SC showed bile duct lesions similar to those of SP-SC, whereas other three cases of SC showed milder lymphoplasmacytic infiltration, scant eosinophilic cell infiltration, and no obliterative phlebitis. All SC-hepatic IP cases showed bile duct lesions identical to those of SP-SC. Immunohistochemically, many IgG4-positive plasma cells were found in the bile duct lesions of all SP-SC cases, 4 SC cases with marked lymphoplasmacytic infiltration, and all SC-hepatic IP cases. By contrast, IgG4-positive plasma cells were scarce or hardly found in the remaining 3 SC cases and all PSC cases. In conclusion, 4 SC cases and all SC-hepatic IP cases showed bile duct lesions identical to those of SP-SC, suggesting that these three conditions may be a single disease entity. Their pathogenesis may be similar or closely related to that of SP, and in that respect they may represent an IgG4-related biliary disease. They may respond to steroid therapy as SP does.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Cholangitis, Sclerosing / blood
  • Cholangitis, Sclerosing / complications*
  • Cholangitis, Sclerosing / pathology*
  • Female
  • Granuloma, Plasma Cell / complications
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / analysis
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Liver Diseases / complications
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Pancreatitis / blood
  • Pancreatitis / complications
  • Pancreatitis / pathology*
  • Plasma Cells / chemistry
  • Retrospective Studies


  • Immunoglobulin G