Primary biliary cirrhosis is irritation and swelling (inflammation) of the bile ducts of the liver, which blocks the flow of bile. This obstruction damages liver cells and leads to scarring called cirrhosis.
The cause of inflamed bile ducts in the liver is not known. The disease more commonly affects middle-aged women.
Afdhal NH. Diseases of the gall bladder and bile ducts. In: Goldman L, Ausiello D, eds. Cecil Medicine. 23rd ed. Philadelphia, Pa: Saunders Elsevier. 2007: chap 159.
Mayo MJ. Natural history of primary biliary cirrhosis. Clin Liver Dis. 2008;12:277-288.
Silveira MG, Lindor KD. Treatment of primary biliary cirrhosis: therapy with choleretic and immunosuppressive agents. Clin Liver Dis. 2008;12:425-443.
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