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Open AccessCase Report

Is Bartonella a Cause of Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis? A Case Study

668 South Newport Street, Denver, CO 80224, USA
Gastrointest. Disord. 2020, 2(1), 48-57;
Received: 11 November 2019 / Revised: 24 February 2020 / Accepted: 6 March 2020 / Published: 9 March 2020
The etiology of primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is unknown. I present a case which may be indicative of a causal link between Bartonella infection and PSC. The patient presented with complaints of abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea. A colonoscopy demonstrated chronic inflammation and changes consistent with ulcerative colitis. Routine laboratory studies revealed elevated liver function tests (LFTs); ultrasound and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) confirmed the diagnosis of PSC. Bartonella serology was positive. It is established that Bartonella infection is associated with both gastrointestinal inflammation and autoimmunity; indeed, there is an animal model for Bartonella-induced PSC. Bartonella is susceptible to treatment with vancomycin and there are case reports and small series that demonstrate that PSC responds to treatment with oral vancomycin. Because of this, it is postulated that at least some cases of PSC may be associated with Bartonella infection. The patient in this report was treated with oral vancomycin and, since then, has been in remission for both colitis and PSC. Since vancomycin is not systemically absorbed, the premise is that he suffered from Bartonella colitis and an autoimmune reaction to Bartonella causing PSC. This premise warrants further study. View Full-Text
Keywords: bartonella; primary sclerosing cholangitis; autoimmune; colitis bartonella; primary sclerosing cholangitis; autoimmune; colitis
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Kinderlehrer, D.A. Is Bartonella a Cause of Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis? A Case Study. Gastrointest. Disord. 2020, 2, 48-57.

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