Does primary sclerosing cholangitis occurring in association with inflammatory bowel disease differ from that occurring in the absence of inflammatory bowel disease? A study of sixty-six subjects

Hepatology. 1990 Jan;11(1):7-11. doi: 10.1002/hep.1840110103.


Primary sclerosing cholangitis often occurs in association with inflammatory bowel disease, particularly ulcerative colitis but also Crohn's disease of the colon either with or without terminal ileal disease. Little data exist as to the effect of inflammatory bowel disease on the presenting symptoms, radiological features, response to liver transplantation, and potential risk of bile duct carcinoma in individuals with primary sclerosing cholangitis. In an effort to answer these questions, 66 patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis were studied. The definitive diagnosis of primary sclerosing cholangitis in each was accomplished using cholangiography, which in each case demonstrated characteristic beading, ectasia and stricturing of the intrahepatic and extrahepatic bile ducts. Inflammatory bowel disease was present in 47 (71.2%) patients. Thirty nine (59.1%) had ulcerative colitis; their mean age was 42.5 +/- 11.6 yr (mean +/- SD), and the male/female ratio was 2.9:1. In addition, eight patients (12.1%) had Crohn's colitis; their mean age was 40.5 +/- 6.5 yr, and the male/female ratio of this group was 1:1. Nineteen patients (28.8%) had primary sclerosing cholangitis without any inflammatory bowel disease; their mean age was 42.0 +/- 12.1 yr, and the male/female ratio in this group was 0.72:1. Seventy-two percent of the patients without inflammatory bowel disease had either jaundice, pruritus or fatigue at presentation compared with 41% of the patients with inflammatory bowel disease (p less than 0.05). In contrast, abnormal liver function tests were more common as the first manifestation of liver disease in the latter group (38% vs. 11%; p less than 0.05).(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Cholangiography
  • Cholangitis, Sclerosing / complications*
  • Cholangitis, Sclerosing / etiology
  • Cholangitis, Sclerosing / pathology
  • Colitis, Ulcerative / complications*
  • Crohn Disease / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Inflammatory Bowel Diseases / complications*
  • Male
  • Sex Factors
  • Time Factors