Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis: Symptoms & Signs

Medically Reviewed on 5/1/2020

Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is a disease of the liver in which the bile ducts become inflamed, narrow, and prevent bile from flowing properly. As the bile ducts become inflamed and narrow, bile begins to back up in the liver, causing liver cells to become inflamed. Over time, this leads to decreased blood flow within the liver, increasing the pressure in the portal vein. This eventually causes a condition known as portal hypertension.

In the early stages, PSC does not cause symptoms. As it develops, the signs and symptoms of primary sclerosing cholangitis can include

Cause of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC)

Doctors do not understand the exact cause of PSC.

Other primary sclerosing cholangitis symptoms and signs


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Jameson, J. Larry, et al. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 20th Ed. New York: McGraw-Hill Education, 2018.