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Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis

One situation which can cause elevated liver enzymes is primary sclerosing cholangitis. This disease of the liver is also known as PSC for short. It is thought that the underlying medical reason for the inflammation that leads to this condition is autoimmune in nature.


Various medical symptoms can impact a person with primary sclerosing cholangitis. Some are mentioned here, although you are requested to keep in mind that having these does not necessarily point to an underlying case of PSC. They can be brought on due to various other situations. Moreover, this list is not complete, but merely some of the symptoms that may show up.

One thing that may affect the patient is a chronic sense of exhaustion. This is actually a common occurrence in many different liver diseases. Liver enlargement can also take place in a person with this condition. High levels of conjugated bilirubin can lead to a urine color that is darker than usual. Portal hypertension can also be an issue for a person with PSC.

Medical cause

Advancing inflammation and scarring which affect the liver's bile ducts can lead to primary sclerosing cholangitis. This inflammation, in turn, is thought to be due to an autoimmune cause.


Imaging can be used in an attempt to diagnose a case of PSC. Endoscopy is typically used, although MRI technology can also be employed as the imaging method. Various other medical tests can be used. For instance, a liver function test may be administered to check for elevated liver enzymes. A full blood count may be done, and kidney function might also be checked.


The treatment that is given to patients with PSC can vary in different cases. Typically, a bile acid is given, which is intended to reduce liver enzymes. However, this has not been seen as being useful toward the patient's survival. Vitamin supplements may be administered, since a deficiency of fat-soluble vitamins is commonly seen in patients with this condition. Other treatment options are also available, including ones ones intended to relieve symptoms.

Ultimately, liver transplantation is necessary to treat primary sclerosing cholangitis. Overall, the amount of time until the patient receives a liver transplant or dies -- measured by median -- is roughly ten years. As far as the average amount of time that a patient lives after being diagnosed goes, that figure is around 25 years.

Look into other details about elevated liver enzymes, or go to a list containing other medical causes.

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