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Best Pract Res Clin Gastroenterol. 2011 Dec;25(6):753-64. doi: 10.1016/j.bpg.2011.10.002.

Primary sclerosing cholangitis and malignancy.

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Norwegian PSC Research Center, Clinic for Specialized Medicine and Surgery, Oslo University Hospital, Rikshospitalet, P.O. Box 4950 Nydalen, N-0424 Oslo, Norway.


Cholangiocarcinoma complicates primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) in approximately 10% of cases, but no risk factor that can identify this subgroup of patients is known. No imaging modalities or serum tumour markers that can diagnose early cholangiocarcinoma are available, but endoscopic retrograde cholangiography with brush cytology is recommended when clinically indicated. Liver transplantation with neoadjuvant therapy is carried out in specialist centres in cases of limited stage cancer. Transplantation should also be considered in patients with biliary dysplasia without evident tumour. Gallbladder polyps in PSC are often malignant, and liberal indication for cholecystectomy is recommended. Hepatocellular carcinoma develops in 2%-4% of patients with end-stage liver disease. Patients with inflammatory bowel disease are at risk of colorectal neoplasia. Surveillance colonoscopies are recommended, also after liver transplantation. Epigenetic markers represent one among several classes of potential biomarkers for early diagnosis of malignancies in PSC that should be further explored.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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