Cancer risk, screening and surveillance in primary sclerosing cholangitis

David M. Chascsa, Keith D. Lindor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is a rare chronic inflammatory condition mainly of the large bile ducts, affecting predominantly young men, and is associated with the presence of inflammatory bowel disease. There is no known cure for PSC, which progresses to cirrhosis or death over 10-20 years. Hepatobiliary malignancy, especially cholangiocarcinoma, is a feared complication associated with poor overall survival. Screening and surveillance appear to improve overall outcomes. To capture as many relevant studies, broad search criteria were employed within the PubMed database. Given the high prevalence of IBD and its own associations with the development of malignancy two separate search strategies were employed. Results were filtered by English language. The first search identified the risks, epidemiological factors and surveillance strategies for patients with PSC at risk for developing malignancy. MeSH terms included: cholangitis, sclerosing, digestive system neoplasms, liver neoplasms, biliary tract neoplasms, cholangiocarcinoma, gallbladder neoplasms, colonic neoplasms, rectal neoplasms, or pancreatic neoplasms, risk factors, risk, surveillance, epidemiology and screen. The second included inflammatory bowel diseases, Crohn's, or colitis, and assessed for additional malignancies such as lymphoma and skin neoplasms. A total of 288 results returned with 21 duplicates; 267 remaining abstracts were assessed for relevance for inclusion by the authors. Patients with PSC show significantly higher than average risk for the development of hepatobiliary and colonic malignancies including cholangiocarcinoma, gallbladder carcinoma and colorectal carcinoma. Yearly ultrasound surveillance followed with more definitive cross-sectional imaging is prudent to arrive in a timely diagnosis of carcinoma, reducing morbidity and mortality.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)214-228
Number of pages15
JournalMinerva gastroenterologica e dietologica
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2019

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Internal Medicine
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism
  • Nutrition and Dietetics
  • Gastroenterology


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