Natural history and prognostic factors in 305 Swedish patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis

Gut. 1996 Apr;38(4):610-5. doi: 10.1136/gut.38.4.610.


BACKGROUND/AIMS--The course of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is highly variable and unpredictable. This study describes the natural history and outcome of PSC. These data were used to construct a prognostic model for patients with PSC. METHODS--A total of 305 Swedish patients with PSC were studied. The median follow up time was 63 (1-194) months and all patients could be traced for follow up. Some 79 patients died or had a liver transplant. The prognostic significance of clinical, biochemical, and histological findings at the time of diagnosis were evaluated using multivariate analysis. RESULTS--The estimated median survival from time of diagnosis to death or liver transplantation was 12 years. Cholangiocarcinoma was found in 24 (8%) of the patients and 134 (44%) of the patients were asymptomatic at the time of diagnosis. The estimated survival rate was significantly higher in the asymptomatic group (p < 0.001). However, 29 (22%) of the asymptomatic patients became symptomatic during the study period. It was found that age, serum bilirubin concentration, and histological stage at the time of diagnosis were independent predictors of a bad prognosis. These variables were used to construct a prognostic model. CONCLUSIONS--This prognostic model developed from a large homogeneous population of PSC patients should be of value for the timing of transplantation and patient counselling in PSC.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cholangiocarcinoma / complications
  • Cholangitis, Sclerosing* / blood
  • Cholangitis, Sclerosing* / complications
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Risk Factors
  • Survival Analysis
  • Sweden