Primary biliary cirrhosis

Dig Dis. 1994 Nov-Dec;12(6):331-50. doi: 10.1159/000171469.


Primary biliary cirrhosis is a chronic, usually progressive, cholestatic liver disease of presumed autoimmune etiology that affects predominantly young and middle-aged women. It is nearly always associated with an antibody directed against a component of the pyruvate dehydrogenase complex located on the inner wall of the mitochondria. The disease is associated with a number of other associated autoimmune disorders. No totally effective medical treatment has been established for the disease, although urosdeoxycholic acid appears promising. Complications of cholestasis such as fat malabsorption and fat-soluble vitamin deficiency should be excluded or corrected when found. Individual patient prognosis varies. Several models for estimating individual patient survival are available. Liver transplantation is recognized as a procedure to extend and improve the quality of life for patients with advanced disease.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Immunosuppressive Agents / therapeutic use
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Biliary* / complications
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Biliary* / immunology
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Biliary* / pathology
  • Liver Cirrhosis, Biliary* / therapy
  • Liver Transplantation


  • Immunosuppressive Agents