PSC-IBD: A unique form of inflammatory bowel disease associated with primary sclerosing cholangitis

E. V. Loftus, G. C. Harewood, C. G. Loftus, W. J. Tremaine, W. S. Harmsen, A. R. Zinsmeister, D. A. Jewell, W. J. Sandborn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

487 Scopus citations


Background: Inflammatory bowel disease associated with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC-IBD) may have a high prevalence of rectal sparing, backwash ileitis, and colorectal neoplasia. Aims: To describe the clinical features and outcomes of PSC-IBD and compare these to a group of chronic ulcerative colitis (CUC) patients. Methods: The medical records of all patients with PSC-IBD evaluated at the Mayo Clinic Rochester between 1987 and 1992 were abstracted for information on endoscopic and histological features, colorectal neoplasia, surgery, and other clinical outcomes. Patients referred for colorectal neoplasia and those who did not undergo colonoscopy with biopsies were excluded. A control group of CUC patients matched for sex, duration of IBD at first clinic visit, and calendar year of first clinic visit was identified, and similar information was abstracted. Results: Seventy one PSC-IBD patients and 142 CUC patients without PSC were identified. Rectal sparing and backwash ileitis were more common in the PSC-IBD group (52% and 51%, respectively) than in controls (6% and 7%, respectively). Overall, colorectal neoplasia developed in 18 cases and 15 controls, including 11 cancers (seven cases and four controls). An increased risk of colorectal neoplasia or death was not detected in a matched analysis. Although the cumulative incidence of colorectal neoplasia was higher in cases (33%) than in controls (13%) at five years, this was of borderline statistical significance (p=0.054, unmatched log rank test). Overall survival from first clinic visit was significantly worse among cases (79% v 97%) at five years (p<0.001, unmatched log rank test). Conclusion: PSC-IBD is frequently characterised by rectal sparing and backwash ileitis. Colorectal neoplasia develops in a substantial fraction and overall survival is worse. PSC-IBD may represent a distinct IBD phenotype.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)91-96
Number of pages6
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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