Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is a kind of cirrhosis caused by damage to the bile ducts in the liver. Much like other forms of liver disease, PBC permanently damages the liver as tissue is replaced with scar tissue (fibrosis). As more scar tissue develops, the structure and function of the liver are affected. It may be related to a problem with the immune system, which is the body's natural defense system.
Pruritus is often refractory to medical therapy and significantly impacts patients' quality of life. Antipruritic treatment is as follows: Antihistamines are first-line agents for patients with mild-to-moderate pruritus, but can further depress brain function in patients with cirrhosis and signs of encephalopathy. Rifampin can also be used for pruritus unresponsive to cholestyramine.
The rates of PBC are higher in many parts of the world. The reason for this is unknown. About 90% of those affected are women and most cases are diagnosed in people aged 40-60, although PBC can be diagnosed at any age from 20 onwards. National Health Survey stated that around 9.0% of total Population self-reported having Primary biliary cirrhosis in Canada.