Epidemiology and outcomes of primary sclerosing cholangitis: an Australian multicentre retrospective cohort study

Natassia Tan, N. Ngu, T. Worland, T. Lee, T. Abrahams, K. Pandya, E. Freeman, N. Hannah, K. Gazelakis, R. G. Madden, K. D. Lynch, Z. Valaydon, S. Sood, A. Dev, S. Bell, A. Thompson, J. Ding, A. J. Nicoll, K. Liu, P. GowJ. Lubel, W. Kemp, S. K. Roberts, A. Majeed, the Melbourne Liver Group

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Background and aims: Little is known regarding the epidemiology and outcomes of patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) in Australia. We, therefore, evaluated the epidemiology and clinical outcomes of PSC in a large cohort of Australian patients and compared these to the general population. Methods: We conducted a multicentre, retrospective cohort study of PSC patients at nine tertiary liver centers across three Australian states, including two liver transplant centers. Results: A total of 413 PSC patients with 3,285 person-years of follow-up were included. Three hundred and seventy-one (90%) patients had large duct PSC and 294 (71%) had associated inflammatory bowel disease. A total of 168 (41%) patients developed cirrhosis (including 34 at the time of PSC diagnosis) after a median of 15.8 (95% CI 12.4, NA) years. The composite endpoint of death or liver transplantation occurred in 49 (12%) and 78 (19%) patients, respectively, with a median transplant-free survival of 13.4 (95% CI 12.2–15) years. Compared to the general population, PSC accounted for a 240-fold increased risk of development of cholangiocarcinoma (CCA) and CCA-related death. CCA risk was increased with older age of PSC diagnosis, presence of dominant stricture and colectomy. Compared to same-aged counterparts in the general population, PSC patients who were diagnosed at an older age or with longer disease duration had reduced relative survival. Conclusion: In this large retrospective cohort study of PSC patients in Australia, increased age and time from diagnosis was associated with increased mortality and morbidity particularly from CCA and development of cirrhosis, necessitating need for liver transplant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1094-1104
Number of pages11
JournalHepatology International
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2022


  • Cholangiocarcinoma
  • Cirrhosis
  • Incidence
  • Liver transplant
  • Malignancy
  • Mortality
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis
  • Relative survival
  • Risk
  • Transplant-free survival

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