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Primary Biliary Cholangitis

Primary Biliary Cholangitis

Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) is an auto-immune condition in which the immune system gradually destroys the bile ducts which take bile from the liver to the intestine. The trapped bile then builds up in the liver, where it causes inflammation and damage to liver cells. This can (usually after many years) lead to cirrhosis. PBC is uncommon condition; it affects about 1 in 5,000 people in the UK. 9 out of 10 cases occur in women, who are mainly aged between 30 and 65 years.


The most useful drug for patients with PBC is Ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA). It can prevent and delay liver damage, especially when it is taken from an early stage of disease. However, UDCA usually does not improve symptoms, such as tiredness or itchy skin and therefore other drugs can be used to treat specific symptoms. Obeticholic Acid (OCA) is a relatively new treatment and used in combination with UDCA in adults who have not responded well enough to UDCA, or alone for adults who cannot tolerate UDCA.


There is a designated PBC MDT on the 1st Thursday of the month. This MDT is attended by the PBC Hepatology leads Dr Tehreem Chaudhry & Sr Jayne Wilkie (Royal site) and Dr Maggie Corrigan and Sr Fiona Metcalfe (Aintree site), there is also admin support.


The criteria for MDT discussion and consideration for 2nd line OCA therapy are patients who do not respond or tolerate UDCA and have Alkaline Phosphate consistently >222. If approved for treatment patient will be offered a face to face appointment with hepatology consultant, and if agrees to commence on treatment, script will be complete and medication will be delivered via homecare (Alcura). Patients will then be monitored in Nurse led PBC clinic.

PBC patients, who do not meet criteria for 2nd line therapy, will be reviewed in general liver clinic.

For further information on Primary Biliary Cholangitis  please download the patient information leaflet below 



Contact Us

Hepatology Nurse Team - 0151 706 2805 Option 3 

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