Bile Duct Diseases

Bile duct disease can cause your bile ducts to become inflamed and blocked. Bile then accumulates in the liver, causing inflammation, and scarring (fibrosis) of your liver. The extent of bile duct disease varies from person to person. In very rare advanced cases, these abnormalities can lead to cirrhosis, liver failure, and cancer of the bile ducts or liver.

Types of Bile Duct Disease

There are two primary types of bile duct diseases: primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC).

Primary biliary cholangitis

Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), also known as primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), causes inflammation of the liver. PBC is a long-term (chronic) liver disease that is triggered by your immune system — a type of autoimmune liver disease — that slowly damages your bile ducts.
In the early stages of PBC, you may have no symptoms. However, routine blood tests may indicate that the main liver enzyme produced by your bile ducts, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), may be elevated. ALP rises when diseases obstruct or damage bile ducts.
If you are diagnosed with PBC during its early stages, we can manage your condition medically and offer you access to clinical trials for the latest, most advanced treatments.

Primary sclerosing cholangitis

Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is a disease without a known cause. It is considered an autoimmune disease, possibly associated with inflammatory bowel disease: ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
PSC leads to inflammation and scarring, which slowly causes damage of the bile ducts. If you have PSC, we will monitor you closely since you may be at risk for developing cirrhosis, liver failure, colon cancer, primary liver cancer, or bile duct cancer.