Primary Biliary Cholangitis
Primary Liver Cholangitis is also called as Primary Liver Cholangitis. It is a condition characterized by the damage or destruction of the bile ducts in the liver, called intrahepatic bile ducts. Bile helps in digestion, and absorbs vitamins, cholesterol and fats. It helps in losing things the body does not require like the red blood cells that have been worn and others. When the bile does not function properly, the liver gets inflamed or may even scar. It is a slow process, which can be treated with medicines. However, if the condition worsens, a liver transplant may be required. It mostly attacks women between the age of 40-50.
- Problems with the immune system.
- A family link- when siblings or parents are affected by PBC, chances of developing it is high.
- Ascites: Fluid buildup in the abdomen.
- Osteoporosis: Thinning of bones at an early age.
- Variceal bleeding: internal bleeding in stomach, rectum and esophagus.
- Jaundice: yellowness of skin.
- Itching and dryness.
- Edema: swelling in feet.
- Darkening of skin.
- Vaginal dryness.
- Drying of eyes and mouth.
- Pain in bones, muscles and joints.
- Blood tests: Doctors recommend blood test to detect the functioning of the liver. It is also conducted to check for diseases related to the immunedisease.
- Imaging tests: Doctors recommend imaging tests like the Ultrasound, MRI, MRE and CT scan to detect Primary biliary cholangitis.
- An X-ray of the bile ducts called Endoscopic Retrograde CholangioPancreatography (ERCP) is also conducted. This involves passing a flexible pipe down the throat and injects a dye in the area of small intestine.
- The most prominent findings is through the significant elevations of the alkaline phosphatase (ALP), γ-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGTP), and immunoglobulin levels (mainly IgM
- Liver biopsy.
Primary Biliary Cholangitis is not possible due to the involvement of the immune system. The treatment only focuses on reducing symptoms and managing them to prevent liver damage.
However, medications like Ursodiol (UDCA) and ocaliva can help to treat PBC. While ocaliva helps to decrease the amount of bile in the liver, both medicines are used to push the bile out of the liver into the small intestine.
If condition worsened, and the liver is damaged untreatably, a liver transplant may be needed.
Life after surgery:
Liver transplants are usually a great success. According to the most recent year computed UNOS/OPTN (2004) national average one-year graft survival at 83%, and patient survival at 87% for patients receiving a deceased donor liver and 92% for those transplanted with an organ from a living donor.
After a liver transplant, a patient is recommended to stay in the I.C.U for a few days and then later shifted to the transplant recovery area for 5-10 days. The patient can then go back to normal day-to-day activities. Regular follow-ups are advised and patients have to take the medicines for lifetime.
Risks involved in a liver transplant include:
- Organ rejection.
- Failure of the donated liver.
- Clots of blood.
- Bile duct leaks.
- Shrinking of bile ducts.
- Long-term complications may also include recurrence of liver disease in the transplanted liver.
The serum bilirubin level is an indicator of the prognosis of PBC, with levels of 2–6 mg/dL having a mean survival time of 4.1 years, 6–10 mg/dL having 2.1 years and those above 10 mg/dL having a mean survival time of 1.4 years.
After liver transplant, the recurrence rate may be as high as 18% at 5 years, and up to 30% at 10 years.
Patients with PBC have an increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma compared to the general population, as is found in other cirrhotic patients. In patients with advanced disease, one series found an incidence of 20% in men and 4% in women.
The cost of the newly approved drug for Primary Biliary Cholangitis is $70,000
New Life Clinics offers a low-risk way to treat Primary Biliary Cholangitis. Our team of experienced and skilled doctors make life at hospital a painless one and guarantee a speedy recovery.