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Primary biliary cholangitis: new treatments for an old disease
  1. Hirsh D Trivedi1,
  2. Blanca Lizaola2,
  3. Elliot B Tapper3,
  4. Alan Bonder1
  1. 1Liver Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2Department of Internal Medicine, St. Elizabeth's Medical Center, Brighton, Massachusetts, USA
  3. 3Department of Hepatology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Alan Bonder, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, 110 Francis Street, Suite 8E, Boston, MA 02215, USA; abonder{at}


Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) is an immunological condition that causes a significant health disturbance and dramatically reduces the quality of life for those affected with the disease. It is a potentially fatal disease that can lead to multiple hepatic and extrahepatic complications. Having adequate therapeutic interventions that can improve the course of the disease is imperative in reducing the associated morbidity and mortality. Ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) is the gold standard therapy. However, it has been associated with suboptimal response rates in a significant proportion of patients. Despite UDCA, approximately 35%–40% of individuals with PBC still experience a progression of the disease, leading to liver failure and requiring liver transplantation. Recent studies of new pharmacological approaches have shown beneficial outcomes. Some of these agents can now be applied to a clinical scenario. In this review article, we will outline the new and emerging treatments for PBC.


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  • Contributors HDT wrote the article and performed the literature review. BL edited the article. EBT edited the article. AB had the idea for the article and is the corresponding author.

  • Competing interests None.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.