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Types of Liver Disease

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Autoimmune-associated liver diseases

Autoimmune disorders are diseases caused by an inappropriate immune response against the body's own tissues. Sometimes these conditions can affect the liver.

Autoimmune hepatitis – although the cause is not fully understood, the immune system attacks the liver and can damage it over time. Learn more about autoimmune hepatitis and associated tests.

Primary biliary cirrhosis
Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is a chronic disease that inflames and destroys small bile ducts in the liver, impedes the flow of bile, and damages liver tissue. It is a progressive disorder that affects more women than men. The exact cause of PBC is not known, but it is thought to be an autoimmune process.

Learn more about PBC at


Primary sclerosing cholangitis
Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is a chronic disease that is associated with inflammatory bowel disease. PSC involves the inflammation, scarring, and destruction of bile ducts, mostly those outside the liver, impedance of bile flow, and damage to liver tissue. The exact cause of PSC is not known, but it is thought to be an autoimmune process. The disorder is more common in men than women.

Learn more about PSC at the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse web site.


  • Liver biopsy

Imaging scans

  • Ultrasound
  • Magnetic resonance cholangiopancreatography (MRCP)
  • Percutaneous transhepatic cholangiogram (PTC)
  • ERCP (endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography)

For more information on these imaging procedures, see

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