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Primary sclerosing colangitis is a serious liver disease characterized by scarring, inflammation and blockages of the bile ducts. Bile becomes unable to leave the liver, resulting in cirrhosis, liver failure and on occasion, liver cancer. The condition also interferes with the absorption of several fat soluble vitamins, resulting in symptoms of malnutrition.
Colangitis proceeds extremely slowly, and a patient who is developing the disease may not show symptoms for years. It is usually diagnosed in persons between the ages of 30 and 60, and is more common in men than in women.