Small duct primary sclerosing cholangitis: A discrete variant or a bridge to large duct disease, a practical review

Christopher M. Nguyen, Kevin T. Kline, Heather L. Stevenson, Kashif Khan, Sreeram Parupudi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The natural history, associations with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and long-term outcomes of large duct primary sclerosing cholangitis (ldPSC) have been well documented. Small duct primary sclerosing cholangitis (sdPSC) is a much less common and relatively more benign variant. The natural history of sdPSC has been difficult to characterize given the limited number of studies in the literature especially with regards to the subset of patients who progress to large duct involvement. It has been unclear whether sdPSC represented a subset of ldPSC, an earlier staging of ldPSC, or a completely separate and distinct entity of its own. Strong associations between sdPSC and IBD have been established with suspicion that concurrent sdPSC-IBD may be a key prognostic factor in determining which patients are at risk of progression to ldPSC. Little is known regarding the discrete circumstances that predisposes some patients with sdPSC to progress to ldPSC. It has been suspected that progression to large biliary duct involvement subjects this subset of patients to potentially developing lifethreatening complications. Here the authors conducted a thorough review of the published sdPSC literature using Pubmed searches and cross-referencing to compile all accessible studies regarding cohorts of sdPSC patients in order better characterize the subset of sdPSC patients who progress to ldPSC and the associated outcomes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)495-503
Number of pages9
JournalWorld Journal of Hepatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2022


  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Outcomes
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis
  • Progression
  • Small duct primary sclerosing cholangitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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