Small bile duct abnormalities in sarcoidosis

Joseph R. Murphy*, Maria H. Sjogren, James W. Kikendall, David A. Peura, Zachary Goodman

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

68 Scopus citations


We report four patients with hepatic involvement of sarcoidosis manifested primarily by bile duct depletion. The patients developed fever, weight loss, anorexia, a markedly elevated alkaline phosphatase, and mildly abnormal serum levels of aspartate aminotransferase. Endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography showed slight intrahepatic irregularities but were not diagnostic of sclerosing cholangitis. Liver biopsy showed predominantly bile duct depletion, ranging from an estimated 10–100% absence of bile ducts in portal areas, which correlated with the degree of fibrosis. The degree of bile duct depletion is useful as a histological marker in patients with sarcoid liver disease. Steroids improve symptoms, but do not inhibit the development of “ductopenia.”.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)555-561
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Gastroenterology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1990
Externally publishedYes


  • Bile duct depletion
  • Cholestasis
  • Sarcoid


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