Factors Associated With Outcomes of Patients With Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis and Development and Validation of a Risk Scoring System

Hepatology. 2019 May;69(5):2120-2135. doi: 10.1002/hep.30479. Epub 2019 Mar 4.


We sought to identify factors that are predictive of liver transplantation or death in patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), and to develop and validate a contemporaneous risk score for use in a real-world clinical setting. Analyzing data from 1,001 patients recruited to the UK-PSC research cohort, we evaluated clinical variables for their association with 2-year and 10-year outcome through Cox-proportional hazards and C-statistic analyses. We generated risk scores for short-term and long-term outcome prediction, validating their use in two independent cohorts totaling 451 patients. Thirty-six percent of the derivation cohort were transplanted or died over a cumulative follow-up of 7,904 years. Serum alkaline phosphatase of at least 2.4 × upper limit of normal at 1 year after diagnosis was predictive of 10-year outcome (hazard ratio [HR] = 3.05; C = 0.63; median transplant-free survival 63 versus 108 months; P < 0.0001), as was the presence of extrahepatic biliary disease (HR = 1.45; P = 0.01). We developed two risk scoring systems based on age, values of bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, albumin, platelets, presence of extrahepatic biliary disease, and variceal hemorrhage, which predicted 2-year and 10-year outcomes with good discrimination (C statistic = 0.81 and 0.80, respectively). Both UK-PSC risk scores were well-validated in our external cohort and outperformed the Mayo Clinic and aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index (APRI) scores (C statistic = 0.75 and 0.63, respectively). Although heterozygosity for the previously validated human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-DR*03:01 risk allele predicted increased risk of adverse outcome (HR = 1.33; P = 0.001), its addition did not improve the predictive accuracy of the UK-PSC risk scores. Conclusion: Our analyses, based on a detailed clinical evaluation of a large representative cohort of participants with PSC, furthers our understanding of clinical risk markers and reports the development and validation of a real-world scoring system to identify those patients most likely to die or require liver transplantation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Alkaline Phosphatase / blood
  • Cholangitis, Sclerosing / blood
  • Cholangitis, Sclerosing / genetics
  • Cholangitis, Sclerosing / mortality*
  • Cholangitis, Sclerosing / surgery
  • Female
  • HLA Antigens / genetics
  • Humans
  • Liver Transplantation
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Risk Assessment
  • United Kingdom / epidemiology


  • HLA Antigens
  • Alkaline Phosphatase