From the Journals

Consider PBC in diagnosing hepatobiliary disorders in UC patients



While primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is the most common hepatobiliary disorder associated with ulcerative colitis, primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) should not be forgotten, according to Erietta Polychronopoulou, MD, and her associates.

In two case studies, a 67-year-old woman and a 71-year-old man presented with long-standing cases of asymptomatic elevation of cholestatic enzymes. Both patients had long histories of ulcerative colitis, but both were in remission. Both patients had previous clinical diagnoses of either small duct PSC or drug-induced liver injury. Both patients denied drug use, and imaging studies revealed nothing in either patient.

In testing for hepatobiliary disorders, both patients showed high titers of antimitochondrial antibodies, the hallmark of PBC. Despite the asymptomatic nature of the PBC, both patients were treated with 13 mg/kg per day ursodeoxycholic acid and have remained stable for 17 and 18 months, respectively.

“The relationship of PBC with UC [ulcerative colitis] remains obscure as there are few reported cases regarding the combined presentation of these diseases. Although the pathogenesis of either disease has not yet been completely clarified, environmental and genetic factors are considered important in the susceptibility to both diseases, suggesting that the two diseases may share common immunopathogenetic pathways,” the investigators noted.

Find the full report in BMJ Case Reports (2017 Sep 25. doi: 10.1136/bcr-2017-220824).

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