Risk stratification in autoimmune cholestatic liver diseases: Opportunities for clinicians and trialists

Hepatology. 2016 Feb;63(2):644-59. doi: 10.1002/hep.28128. Epub 2015 Nov 26.


Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) are infrequent autoimmune cholestatic liver diseases, that disproportionate to their incidence and prevalence, remain very important causes of morbidity and mortality for patients with liver disease. Mechanistic insights spanning genetic risks and biological pathways to liver injury and fibrosis have led to a renewed interest in developing therapies beyond ursodeoxycholic acid that are aimed at both slowing disease course and improving quality of life. International cohort studies have facilitated a much greater understanding of disease heterogeneity, and in so doing highlight the opportunity to provide patients with a more individualized assessment of their risk of progressive liver disease, based on clinical, laboratory, or imaging findings. This has led to a new approach to patient care that focuses on risk stratification (both high and low risk); and furthermore allows such stratification tools to help identify patient subgroups at greatest potential benefit from inclusion in clinical trials. In this article, we review the applicability and validity of risk stratification in autoimmune cholestatic liver disease, highlighting strengths and weaknesses of current and emergent approaches. (Hepatology 2016;63:644-659).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autoimmune Diseases / diagnosis
  • Autoimmune Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Cholangitis, Sclerosing / diagnosis
  • Cholangitis, Sclerosing / epidemiology*
  • Cholangitis, Sclerosing / immunology*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Biliary / diagnosis
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Biliary / epidemiology*
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Biliary / immunology*
  • Risk Assessment