Doctors diagnose primary biliary cholangitis based on your medical and family history, a physical exam, and the results of medical tests.
Your doctor will ask you about your symptoms. He or she will also ask
Your doctor will examine your body, use a stethoscope to listen to sounds in your abdomen, and tap or press on specific areas of your abdomen. He or she will
Your doctor may recommend the following blood tests:
Anti-mitochondrial antibodies (AMA). Anti-mitochondrial antibodies are found in the blood of about 95 percent of people with primary biliary cholangitis.3
Liver tests. Liver tests can show abnormal liver enzyme levels, which may be a sign of damage in your liver or biliary tract. Higher-than-normal levels of the liver enzyme alkaline phosphatase occur in people with diseases that destroy or block the bile ducts, such as primary biliary cholangitis.
Your doctor may diagnose primary biliary cholangitis if you have anti-mitochondrial antibodies and higher-than-normal levels of alkaline phosphatase in your blood, even if you have no other signs or symptoms of the disease.
Cholesterol. People with primary biliary cholangitis may have higher-than-normal cholesterol levels, which may be a sign that their liver is not working properly.
Your doctor may use imaging tests such as x-rays and ultrasound to help diagnose primary biliary cholangitis by ruling out other causes of bile duct damage, such as gallstones, bile duct strictures, and tumors.
Your doctor may perform a liver biopsy to
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The NIDDK would like to thank:
John Moore Vierling, M.D., Baylor College of Medicine