Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (PBC)

  • Medical Author:
    Benjamin Wedro, MD, FACEP, FAAEM

    Dr. Ben Wedro practices emergency medicine at Gundersen Clinic, a regional trauma center in La Crosse, Wisconsin. His background includes undergraduate and medical studies at the University of Alberta, a Family Practice internship at Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario and residency training in Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.

  • Medical Editor: Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)
    Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)

    Bhupinder S. Anand, MBBS, MD, DPHIL (OXON)

    Dr. Anand received MBBS degree from Medical College Amritsar, University of Punjab. He completed his Internal Medicine residency at the Postgraduate Institute of medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India. He was trained in the field of Gastroenterology and obtained the DPhil degree. Dr. Anand is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology.

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Can primary biliary cirrhosis be prevented?

Since the cause of the disease is not known, it is not possible to prevent PBC. However, medications may be able to slow the progression of the disease and control the symptoms.

Should a person develop PBC, all attempts should be made to prevent further potential damage. This may include limiting alcohol intake, avoiding the use of medications that contain acetaminophen (Tylenol, Panadol), and cholesterol lowering agents.

What is the prognosis for someone with primary biliary cirrhosis?

PBC is a progressive disease that can be controlled but not cured. The prognosis depends upon a variety of factors including whether the patient has symptoms (especially fatigue), liver function test abnormalities, and whether the patient has undergone treatment with medication or has required liver transplantation.

Advances in treatment have extended the life expectancy in the past many years. The average survival from diagnosis for a patient with PBC who is asymptomatic is 16 years, while that of patients with symptoms is 7 1/2 years.

Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care

REFERENCE:

Dancygier, H. Clinical Hepatology.
Springer 2010.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 11/23/2015
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