Primary Biliary Cirrhosis

Primary biliary cirrhosis is an autoimmune disease where cytotoxic T-cells attack biliary endothelium causing granulomatous destruction of intrahepatic bile ducts. This destruction leads to cholestasis, then progressive cirrhosis, portal hypertension, and liver failure. Patients often complain of fatigue and pruritus and jaundice is evident. This process is most prevalent in middle-aged women, especially in those with other preexisting autoimmune disorders. Laboratory evaluation elicits an elevated alkaline phosphatase level and positive antimitochondrial antibody. Hepatic transplantation is the only method of long-term treatment.

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