Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) remains one of the most challenging conditions of clinical hepatology. There has been a steady growth in research to overcome this fact and the present review aims at summarizing the most recently published literature. The main emphasis will be put on the link of recent pathogenetic insights to clinical characteristics and patient management. With regard to pathogenesis, there is no consensus yet as to whether immune mediated injury or factors related to bile acid physiology are the most important. It also remains to be clarified whether PSC is a mixed bag of various secondary etiologies yet to be defined, or a disease entity predominantly represented by sclerosing cholangitis in the context of inflammatory bowel disease. Most important, there is no available medical therapy with proven influence on clinical end points, and timing of liver transplantation and patient follow-up are challenging due to the unpredictable and high risk of cholangiocarcinoma.
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