Primary Biliary Cirrhosis Treatment Offered at Mercy by Liver Disease Specialists


This 3D medical animation outlines the various functions of the liver.

Dr. Paul ThuluvathDr. Anurag Maheshwari and Dr. Hwan Yoo are dedicated to diagnosing and treating liver and biliary tract diseases, including primary biliary cirrhosis, biliary cancer, and bile duct cancer. Patients from across the Baltimore region come to The Center for Liver and Hepatobiliary Diseases at Mercy for the progressive treatment options for liver and biliary diseases.

About the Condition

Primary biliary cirrhosis develops when the liver’s bile ducts are destroyed. A slow process, the destruction of the bile ducts eventually causes the liver to become inflamed. This inflammation then causes scarring of the liver, or cirrhosis. Much like other forms of liver disease, primary biliary cirrhosis permanently damages the liver as scar tissue develops. As more scar tissue builds up, the structure and function of the liver are affected. In addition to cirrhosis, primary biliary cirrhosis can lead to portal hypertension, enlarged veins, osteoporosis, liver cancer, and vitamin deficiencies.

NEXT: Symptoms & Diagnostic Process ›
Symptoms & Diagnostic Process

Some people with primary biliary cirrhosis never experience any symptoms. If primary biliary cirrhosis symptoms do occur, they can include:

  • Fatigue
  • Itching skin
  • Abdominal pain in the upper right portion
  • Jaundice
  • Dry eyes or mouth
  • Skin darkening
  • Diarrhea

Primary biliary cirrhosis can be diagnosed using:

  • Blood tests
  • CT scans
  • MRIs
  • Liver biopsies
NEXT: Treatment Options ›
Treatment Options

There is not a cure for primary biliary cirrhosis so treatment focuses on reducing symptoms, preventing and treating any complications, and preventing other conditions that may cause additional liver damage. Medications may be an effective treatment option when primary biliary cirrhosis is diagnosed early. In advanced stages of primary biliary cirrhosis, a liver transplant may be a treatment option.

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The Institute for Digestive Health & Liver Disease at Mercy - Baltimore, MD
Elinor Zhou, M.D.

Dr. Elinor Zhou is a gastroenterologist who provides care for general digestive disorders including colon cancer screening and prevention, GERD, dyspepsia, altered bowel habits and abdominal pain. 

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