What tests are used to diagnose primary sclerosing cholangitis?
PSC diagnosis is most commonly based on imaging tests using a special type of MRI called a magnetic resonance cholangiogram (MRC). The MRC can show detailed narrowings and dilations of the bile ducts. Less frequently, we may perform a liver biopsy to help diagnose PSC that is affecting the smaller bile ducts within the liver.
Why choose us for the treatment of primary sclerosing cholangitis?
Our Pediatric Liver Center is one of the largest in the country and provides a fast and targeted approach to accurately diagnose and treat PSC.
What to expect from an MRC
Children’s Colorado caters to children and provides a safe and relaxing environment during the MRC. To help children stay still while the machine takes pictures, we use lights, music and videos for them to focus on. This is an outpatient procedure that we may perform with anesthesia if your child is younger than 8 years old.
What to expect from a liver biopsy
A board-certified liver specialist and pediatric anesthesiologist perform the liver biopsy under general anesthesia in our procedure center, so your child experiences no pain or discomfort. The pediatric hepatologist removes a small piece of the liver using a special needle through a tiny cut in the skin. A board-certified pediatric pathologist with extensive experience evaluating pediatric liver biopsies examines the biopsy using a special microscope to help diagnose PSC.
How do we make a diagnosis of primary sclerosing cholangitis?
The diagnosis of PSC is confirmed based on scarring of bile ducts, which is a sign of PSC. This scarring can be seen on images taken by the MRC or from the liver biopsy itself.