An autoimmune liver disease means that the body’s immune system is attacking the liver. These diseases can lead to cirrhosis and eventually liver failure.
Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC)
Primary biliary cholangitis is a chronic liver disease in which the small bile ducts in the liver become injured and inflamed.
Primary In the early stages, people may not experience any symptoms of primary biliary cholangitis. Eventually, symptoms may develop that include fatigue, itching, or yellowing of the skin.
We carefully assess the condition of your liver using state-of-art laboratory testing and an advanced liver ultrasound called Fibroscan®, which can rapidly detect the scarring and inflammation in your liver. There are several medications to treat the PBC. Once a patient has been diagnosed with PBC, we work with our on-site pharmacists to quickly get approval from the health insurance provider for the medications needed to get better. If you have an advanced disease, you may be seen by specialists from Tufts MC hepatology, interventional radiology, radiation and medical oncology, and hepatobiliary surgery who are part of our multidisciplinary team.
Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC)
Primary sclerosing cholangitis is a chronic disease. The bile ducts inside and outside the liver become inflamed and scarred, and eventually narrowed or blocked. The build-up of the bile causes liver damage.
Most patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis do not experience any symptoms and the disease progresses very slowly. Some may experience fatigue, itching, pain in the abdomen and yellowing of the skin. Often, PSC occurs in patients with inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis.
Currently there are no treatments available for PSC. We work closely with Tufts MC gastroenterologists specialized in inflammatory bowel disease and advanced endoscopy to provide comprehensive care for PSC and prevent complications. If you have an advanced disease, you may be seen by specialists in hepatology, interventional radiology, radiation and medical oncology, and hepatobiliary surgery to provide personalized care for your liver disease. If you need a liver transplant evaluation, we have an expedited referral system (link to liver transplant program) to refer you in-state and out-of-state liver transplant programs.
Autoimmune hepatitis is a chronic liver disease in which the immune system attacks the liver. If autoimmune hepatitis is not treated it can lead to cirrhosis and liver failure.
People with autoimmune hepatitis may experience fatigue, abdominal pain, joint pain, nausea and poor appetite. If you have severe liver disease, such as cirrhosis, you may develop fluid build-up in your legs, a yellow color and easy bruising in your skin and confusion.
Autoimmune hepatitis is treated with steroids and immunosuppressive therapy. We use state-of-art laboratory testing and imaging, and an advanced liver ultrasound called Fibroscan® to diagnose your liver disease. If you have an advanced disease, you may be seen by our multidisciplinary team that includes specialists from hepatology, interventional radiology, radiation and medical oncology, and hepatobiliary surgery.
Programs + Services
Tufts Center for Liver Disease specializes in treating liver disease, such as cirrhosis, fatty liver, viral hepatitis, primary biliary cirrhosis and primary sclerosing cholangitis.
More information about programs and services