Treatment for primary sclerosing cholangitis at Mayo Clinic focuses on controlling symptoms and slowing the disease progression. Your specialist will work with you to design a treatment plan tailored to your needs. Treatment options include:
- Medications. Medications can help ease itching, clear up infections and boost vitamin absorption.
- Opening of bile ducts. Endoscopic or X-ray-guided procedures may be performed to open bile duct blockages, improve bile flow and place stents to keep ducts open.
- Liver transplant. If the disease progresses to the point where scar tissue replaces normal tissue in the liver (cirrhosis), you may need a new liver. People with primary sclerosing cholangitis who have liver transplants generally have high survival rates — 80 percent after five years, on average. Many people who have primary sclerosing cholangitis are referred to Mayo Clinic for liver transplant. Recipients of liver transplants at Mayo Clinic have above average survival rates. Mayo Clinic is one of the few medical centers in the country to offer liver transplant as a treatment option for bile duct cancer, using a multidisciplinary treatment plan developed at Mayo Clinic.
Disease severity index
Liver specialists at Mayo Clinic developed several mathematical models that assess the severity of some liver diseases. These models help doctors determine where a person ranks on the priority list for a transplant. One model is a primary sclerosing cholangitis disease severity index, and another predicts the outcome of liver transplantation in people with primary sclerosing cholangitis.