Children's Hospital Colorado
Pediatric Liver Center

Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC)

We see more, treat more and heal more kids than any other hospital in the region.

Best Children's Hospital by U.S. News & World Report Gastroenterology 2021-2 Badge

Next Steps

Would you like to learn more about us?
Pediatric Liver Center
Do you have questions about your child’s condition?
Call
Want a second opinion?
Get started

What is primary sclerosing cholangitis?

Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is a rare autoimmune disease that targets the bile ducts of the liver. PSC in children can lead to cirrhosis and an increased risk of biliary and colon cancers in adulthood.

What causes primary sclerosing cholangitis?

Genetics often play a part in making a person more likely to develop an autoimmune disease. With autoimmune diseases, the person’s own immune system mistakenly sees a part of the body as a threat and attacks it. In many cases of autoimmune diseases, something triggers the immune system, such as an infection, to attack the body. In the case of PSC, an environmental trigger, such as a viral infection, may initiate a bile duct injury. This results in an immune-mediated attack on the bile ducts.

Who gets primary sclerosing cholangitis?

Pediatric PSC affects all ages, genders and ethnicities. It is more common in males and is usually associated with inflammatory bowel disease, another autoimmune disease.

Next steps