Recurrence and rejection in liver transplantation for primary sclerosing cholangitis

World J Gastroenterol. 2012 Jan 7;18(1):1-15. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v18.i1.1.


Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is a chronic progressive inflammatory disease affecting the bile ducts, leading to fibrosis and eventually cirrhosis in most patients. Its etiology is unknown and so far no effective medical therapy is available. Liver transplantation (LTX) is the only curative treatment and at present PSC is the main indication for LTX in the Scandinavian countries. Close to half of the PSC patients experience one or more episodes of acute cellular rejection (ACR) following transplantation and approximately 1/5 of the transplanted patients develop recurrent disease in the graft. In addition, some reports indicate that ACR early after LTX for PSC can influence the risk for recurrent disease. For these important post-transplantation entities affecting PSC patients, we have reviewed the current literature on epidemiology, pathogenesis, treatment and the possible influence of rejection on the risk of recurrent disease in the allograft.

Keywords: Liver transplantation; Primary sclerosing cholangitis; Recurrence; Rejection.

Publication types

  • Editorial
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cholangiography
  • Cholangitis, Sclerosing / epidemiology
  • Cholangitis, Sclerosing / pathology
  • Cholangitis, Sclerosing / prevention & control*
  • Cholangitis, Sclerosing / surgery*
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Graft Rejection / epidemiology
  • Graft Rejection / pathology*
  • Graft Rejection / physiopathology
  • Humans
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver / surgery
  • Liver Transplantation*
  • Postoperative Complications
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Analysis