Saturday, April 5, 2014

Difference between primary biliary cirrhosis and primary sclerosing cholangitis mnemonic

Greetings people!
Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC).. Because both have the word primary and are associated with the hepatobiliary system, it's easy to mix em up.

Here's how I keep them straight -

The middle word is the key:

sclerOsing has an O
O for onion
O looks like a bead

biliAry has an A
A for autoimmune
A for antibodies

Periductal onion skin fibrosis on histology and beaded appearance (both strictures and dilation) on cholangiography is seen in primary sclerosing cholangitis.

Cholangitis and Colitis sound similar and that's how I make the Ulcerative colitis association with PSC!

Antimitochondrial antibodies are seen in primary biliary cirrhosis. It is autoimmune.

A also reminds me of the Attenuated bile duct epithelium due to destruction of interlobular bile ducts (those that course alongside the hepatic artery) by lymphocyte infiltration (Florid duct lesion).

Since autoimmune diseases are more commonly seen in females, PBC is also common in females.. So the other one, PSC, is seen in males!

Hope you all are doing awesome < 3


  1. You are really good !!! Keep posting the clinical medicine stuff... Thanks for doing a great job..excellent !!!! :)

  2. In Pbs there is inflammation of intrahepatic bile duct while in case of the Psc there's inflammation of Extrahepatic bile duct! :)

  3. U r amaazzziingg... ! Great work... ! Spread knowledge... ! :-)

  4. You are an amazing creation. i am so glad i came across your site. if u ever happen to be around Aiims, Delhi. kindly leave me a message(via google hangout), i owe u a treat at the least.

    1. Aww thank you so much!

      I came to AIIMS, Delhi in second year for the fest but I doubt I'll be there anytime soon. If you happen to be in Mumbai, do lemme know :)

  5. Biliary colangitis aka as vanishing duct syndrome due to ductopenia..:)

  6. Also in PBC non caseating granulaoms seen in liver biopsy..hope it adds mre points.:)

  7. Your mnemonics helped me alot.....thnks a lot.....keep shining��

  8. tomorrow is my final professional exams for third year ... and you are a life saver ! thank you soo much and keep posting stuff like these which can help us remember more easily


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