Primary sclerosing cholangitis in childhood

Gastroenterology. 1987 May;92(5 Pt 1):1226-35. doi: 10.1016/s0016-5085(87)91082-1.


Thirteen children (8 female) with primary sclerosing cholangitis are described, in whom the diagnosis was confirmed by the presence of characteristic changes on endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography. Nine had clinical features of chronic inflammatory bowel disease 1 mo to 5 yr before the onset of primary sclerosing cholangitis (6 patients) or appearing simultaneously with primary sclerosing cholangitis (3 patients). In 4 patients clinical evidence of chronic inflammatory bowel disease was absent but 1 of the 4 was found to have microscopic colitis in colonoscopic biopsy specimens. Biopsies were not performed in the remaining 3 patients. High immunoglobulin G concentrations and positive antinuclear or smooth muscle antibodies were present in all patients except 1 who had been given immunosuppressants. In 7 patients treated with immunosuppressants and followed up for 9 mo to 10 yr there was modest symptomatic improvement. This improvement was accompanied by a fall in transaminase levels in 6 of the patients and histologic improvement in 3 of 4 patients who had undergone biopsy. Greater use of endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography in the last 6 yr led to the identification of 10 of these 13 cases, suggesting a higher incidence of primary sclerosing cholangitis in childhood than would appear from the literature.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Antibodies, Antinuclear / analysis
  • Bile Ducts, Intrahepatic / diagnostic imaging
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cholangiography
  • Cholangitis / immunology
  • Cholangitis / pathology
  • Cholangitis / physiopathology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulins / analysis
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver Function Tests
  • Male


  • Antibodies, Antinuclear
  • Immunoglobulins