- Leading PBC Group: Albert Parés
- Hospital Clínic de Barcelona.
Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) is a chronic and cholestatic liver disease of autoimmune pathogenesis that mainly affects middle-aged women. Patients show elevated alkaline phosphatase and bilirubin levels as the disease progresses. The main symptoms of the disease are pruritus and fatigue, which interfere with the quality of life of patients. Progressive damage leading to end stage liver disease could require liver transplantation. Despite the efficacy of ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA), the current standard of care for PBC, up to 40% of patients have an inadequate response to the treatment, requiring a second-line therapy. Obeticholic acid is the only second-line treatment approved for PBC in combination with UDCA in adults with an inadequate response to UDCA, or as monotherapy in patients intolerant to UDCA. Although different clinical guidelines for the diagnosis and management of PBC have been published, PBC is still challenging for many physicians. In this article we briefly review the main characteristics of the disease and include a practical user-friendly algorithm for the diagnosis and management of PBC developed by Spanish PBC experts and based on the European Association for the Study of the Liver recommendations.