What is the role of imaging studies in the workup of primary biliary cholangitis (PBC)?

Updated: Nov 08, 2017
  • Author: Nikolaos T Pyrsopoulos, MD, PhD, MBA, FACP, AGAF; Chief Editor: BS Anand, MD  more...
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Answer

Abdominal ultrasonography, computed tomography (CT) scanning, or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) are important to exclude biliary obstruction.

Nonspecific findings include increased echogenicity of the liver parenchyma and findings compatible with portal hypertension.

Portal lymphadenopathy can be recognized in approximately 15% of these patients.

Once patients are cirrhotic, findings compatible with portal hypertension (eg, nodular appearance of the liver, splenomegaly, intra-abdominal varices, ascites) can be observed. At this stage, follow-up imaging every 6 months with abdominal ultrasonography is suggested for early detection of hepatic malignancy.


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