Sclerosing Cholangitis

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The cause of primary sclerosing cholangitis is not known. Secondary sclerotic cholangitis may result from bile stones, surgery, parasites, drugs or abnormalities of the bile ducts present from birth.

Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) often affects men in their forties, especially those also suffering from inflammatory bowel disease like ulcerative colitis. The exact reason why it occurs is not known. Genes may predispose a person to developing the disease. It is not an autoimmune disease, though the patient shows the presence of certain antibodies in the blood. Thus, in PSC, the cause of the disease is not known.

Sclerotic cholangitis occurring due to known causes is called secondary sclerotic cholangitis. Some conditions that cause secondary sclerotic cholangitis are:

Stones in the bile ducts

Surgery causing damage to the bile ducts


Damage to the blood supply of the bile ducts

Parasites in the bile ducts

Disorders of the bile ducts present from birth

Chemical agents or drugs

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