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Clinical Epidemiology of Primary Biliary Cirrhosis

Incidence, Prevalence, and Impact of Therapy

Lazaridis, Konstantinos N., MD* †; Talwalkar, Jayant A., MD, MPH

Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology: May-June 2007 - Volume 41 - Issue 5 - p 494-500
doi: 10.1097/01.mcg.0000225653.07932.8f
Liver, Pancreas and Biliary Tract: Clinical Review

Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is a chronic cholestatic liver disease of unknown etiology. It is typically characterized by a trio of criteria including cholestatic liver biochemistry tests for at least 6 month's duration, the presence of a positive serum antimitochondrial antibody, and histologic findings from liver biopsy that are compatible or diagnostic with PBC. Although no unifying mechanism of action has been described to explain the pathogenesis of PBC to date, the natural history of this condition is greatly influenced by several known and unknown risk factors. In turn, a number of publications have focused on describing the burden of disease and prognosis in patients with PBC, This review article will summarize the descriptive epidemiology of PBC including new insights on risk factors, prognosis, and the effect of medical therapy in contemporary patients.

*Center for Basic Research in Digestive Diseases

Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, Rochester, MN 55905

Reprints: Konstantinos N. Lazaridis, MD, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine, 200 First Street SW, Rochester, MN 55905 (e-mail:

© 2007 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.