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Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis in Children

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Know the risks and potential benefits of clinical studies and talk to your health care provider before participating. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT04181138
Recruitment Status : Recruiting
First Posted : November 29, 2019
Last Update Posted : March 31, 2023
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Arbor Research Collaborative for Health

Brief Summary:

Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is a rare liver disease that damages the liver's bile ducts. Bile ducts are tiny tubes that carry bile from the liver to the small intestine. Bile is a liquid produced by the liver that helps us absorb and use the nutrients in the food we eat. In people with PSC, the bile backs up into the liver and will damage it, causing scarring of the liver.

The purposes of this study are to:

  • Collect medical and other data to learn more about PSC, how it progresses, and identify factors that may cause the disease to progress more quickly.
  • Ask questions about how PSC symptoms affect your child's life to learn more about its impact on your child's daily functioning
  • Children with PSC who are seen at one of the participating clinical sites in the Childhood Liver Disease Research Network (ChiLDReN) will be asked to contribute information, DNA, and other specimens. The information and specimens will be available to investigators to carry out approved research aimed at learning more about the possible causes and long-term effects of PSC.

Condition or disease
Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis Liver Diseases Cholangitis, Sclerosing

Detailed Description:

Pediatric primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is a rare autoimmune biliary fibrosing disease that leads to significant morbidity, the need for liver transplantation in ~50% of patients, and an increased risk for biliary and colorectal cancers in adulthood. The progression of the biliary disease in children is variable and risk factors associated with a more rapid progression of disease have not been adequately studied. Importantly, pediatric hepatologists have never previously collaborated with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) specialists to rigorously explore interactions between colonic inflammation and liver disease. New non-invasive imaging modalities to measure fibrosis have not been explored in pediatric PSC. Furthermore, the impact that PSC has on the global functioning of children is not well understood, and likely underappreciated.

The natural history of pediatric PSC is poorly understood. This study aims to determine risk factors, including activity of co-existent IBD, associated with more rapid progression of disease, characterize the impact of PSC on global functioning, define the spectrum and prognostic value of biliary tract disease and liver fibrosis based on novel imaging techniques, and establish a biobank of specimens for future mechanistic studies aimed at discovering biomarkers pertaining to etiology and severity of PSC and novel mechanisms of immunopathogenesis of disease. This comprehensive observational and longitudinal study will delineate unique aspects of the natural history and severity of pediatric PSC and of associated IBD and provide necessary data for future therapeutic trials. It aims to provide a platform to discover and validate circulating and imaging biomarkers, which may serve as surrogate endpoints in future interventional studies.

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Study Type : Observational
Estimated Enrollment : 1000 participants
Observational Model: Cohort
Time Perspective: Prospective
Official Title: Prospective Observational Study of Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC) in Children
Actual Study Start Date : December 30, 2021
Estimated Primary Completion Date : May 2024
Estimated Study Completion Date : May 2024

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. To characterize the major phenotypes of PSC including patients with large duct or small duct disease, with and without Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), and with and without Auto Immune Hepatitis (AIH) [ Time Frame: up to 10 years ]

    Data will be collected on all phenotypes of PSC but attention is focused on how the intestinal inflammation and clinical activity of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) affect the progression of PSC, better classification of patients with features of Auto Immune Hepatitis (AIH), and the implications of bacterial cholangitis amongst all PSC phenotypes.

    Collection of retrospective clinical and laboratory data from the time of diagnosis of PSC and annual timepoints thereafter. Information regarding clinically important timepoints, laboratory data and FibroScan Liver Stiffness Measurements (LSM) are collected prospectively.

    Slides/images (if available) from each liver biopsy obtained at the time of diagnosis of PSC and thereafter and from the explanted liver recovered at the time of liver transplantation will undergo central review.

    Cholangiography results (MRCP, ERCP) will also undergo central review.

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. To identify the symptoms of PSC in children and the affects of those symptoms on the functional health of children. [ Time Frame: up to 10 years ]

    Identify deficits in the functional health of children with PSC and explore the association of these functional parameters with biochemical markers of liver disease severity and IBD activity. Symptoms and the impact the symptoms on the functional health of children is measured through the use of "Patient Reported Outcomes" and performance-based metrics.

    The burden of disease on the quality of life for children with PSC is measured utilizing the Peds-QL questionnaires (parent proxy and self-report). Child self-report: 8-12 years, and 13-18 years. Young adult self-report: 18-25 years. Parent proxy report: 2-4 years, 5-7 years, 8-12 years, and 13-17 years.

    Itch and fatigue identified as predominant symptoms in PSC are measured through the administration (at every visit) of the 5-D ITCH scale and the PedsQL multidimensional fatigue and PROMIS Sleep Scales.

    Frailty parameters in children with PSC are measured through the Fried frailty criteria at every visit.

  2. Utilizing imaging modalities measuring liver fibrosis, and large duct injury to correlate with other markers of fibrosis and biliary injury and predict progression of disease. [ Time Frame: up to 10 years ]
    The imaging modalities are utilized to explore the two pathophysiological processes of PSC, liver fibrosis and bile duct damage. Quantitative MRI techniques may be more sensitive to disease progression than standard clinical and laboratory tests, as the liver and bile ducts are being explored directly.

  3. Development of a repository for formalin fixed paraffin embedded (FFPE) liver biopsy tissue, serum, plasma, peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs), DNA and stool. [ Time Frame: up to 10 years ]
    Samples of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), serum, plasma, DNA and stool are collected from participants at baseline and serum/plasma will be collected annually. In addition, any liver tissue previously collected or collected for clinical purposes in the future will be analyzed along with the PBMC, serum, plasma, DNA and stool within future mechanistic ancillary studies related to the diagnostic/prognostic biomarkers, and genetic, immune and microbial theories of pathogenesis.

Biospecimen Retention:   Samples With DNA
DNA, plasma, serum, PBMCs, stool, liver tissue

Information from the National Library of Medicine

Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contacts provided below. For general information, Learn About Clinical Studies.

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Ages Eligible for Study:   2 Years to 25 Years   (Child, Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No
Sampling Method:   Non-Probability Sample
Study Population
Participants are eligible for enrollment into the ChiLDReN PSC Study if they meet the inclusion criteria and if none of the exclusion criteria apply. Every effort will be made to enroll as diverse a patient population (racial, ethnic, sex, age, etc) as possible.

Inclusion Criteria:

Patients with the clinical diagnosis of large or small duct PSC made at any time prior to enrollment are screened for eligibility to participate in this prospective cohort study. The site PI will determine eligibility following review of MRCP or ERCP images with the site radiologist to confirm presence of an abnormal cholangiogram at the time of diagnosis of large duct PSC. Liver histopathology obtained at the time of diagnosis of small duct PSC will be reviewed with the site pathologist prior to enrollment.

Individuals must meet all of the Inclusion criteria in order to be eligible to participate in the study:

  1. Aged 2 through 25 years at time of screening.
  2. Diagnosis of large duct PSC based on review of cholangiogram by MRC, ERC, or intraoperative cholangiogram (IOC) by the site radiologist and interpreted to be consistent with PSC, based on one or more of the following:

    • Focal structuring of the bile duct(s)
    • Dominant stricture of the common bile duct
    • Saccular dilatation of bile duct(s)
    • Beaded appearance of bile duct(s)
    • Pruning appearance of the distal bile duct branches


  3. Diagnosis of small duct PSC based on review of liver histopathology by the site pathologist and interpreted to be compatible with PSC:

    • Probable small duct PSC: biopsy with ≥3 of 5 criteria: periductal edema, concentric inflammation, bile duct injury, ductular reaction, and neutrophils in bile ducts (cholangitis) OR...
    • Definitive small duct PSC: Periductal fibrosis/ "onion skinning" around interlobular bile ducts or smaller profiles
  4. Stated willingness to comply with all study procedures and availability for the duration of the study.
  5. Able to provide informed consent/assent

Exclusion Criteria:

An individual who meets any of the following criteria at baseline will be excluded from participation in this study.

  1. History of liver transplantation
  2. History bone marrow transplantation
  3. History of primary or acquired immunodeficiency predisposing to secondary sclerosing cholangitis, for instance: hyper-IgM syndrome, severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) syndrome, common variable immunodeficiency (CVID) syndrome, cartilage hair hypoplasia syndrome, or HIV/AIDS
  4. History of histiocytosis, including Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH), or hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH)
  5. History of ischemic cholangitis
  6. History of portal vein thrombosis with biliopathy, veno-occlusive disease, or abdominal radiation vasculopathy
  7. History of recurrent pyogenic cholangitis
  8. History of biliary tract surgery for cholecystolithiasis prior to cholangiogram/liver biopsy evaluated to determine enrollment
  9. History of biliary tract surgery for choledochal cyst
  10. History of hepatocellular carcinoma, or hepatoblastoma
  11. History of surgical biliary trauma
  12. History of congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV) hepatitis
  13. History of Sickle Cell Disease
  14. History of cystic fibrosis, biliary atresia, Caroli disease/congenital hepatic fibrosis, or progressive familial intrahepatic cholestasis type 3/MDR3 disease
  15. History of cardiac hepatopathy.
  16. History of metabolic disorders, including Wilson's disease, glycogen storage disorder, Alpha-1 Antitrypsin deficiency
  17. Diagnosis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE)
  18. Concurrent pregnancy at the time of enrollment -

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT04181138

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Contact: Terese A Howell, BS, CCRC 734-476-5340
Contact: Sayori Suda-Wilson, BS, RD 734-678-5070

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United States, California
Children's Hospital of Los Angeles Recruiting
Los Angeles, California, United States, 90027
Contact: Sirikorn Boonsawat    323-361-2181   
Sub-Investigator: Rohit Kohli, MD         
Principal Investigator: Nisreen Soufi, MD         
United States, Colorado
Children's Hospital Colorado Recruiting
Aurora, Colorado, United States, 80045
Contact: Cynthia Castanon    720-777-0587   
Contact: Eseosa Enabulele   
Sub-Investigator: Ron Sokol, MD         
Principal Investigator: Shikha Sundaram, MD         
Sub-Investigator: Michael Narkewicz, MD         
Sub-Investigator: Dania Brigham, MD         
Sub-Investigator: Amy Feldman, MD         
United States, Georgia
Children's Healthcare of Atlanta Recruiting
Atlanta, Georgia, United States, 30322
Contact: Jordyn Turner    404-785-3690   
Contact: Katelynn Harris    4047850421   
Principal Investigator: Nitika Gupta, MD         
United States, Illinois
Ann & Robert H Lurie Children's Hospital Recruiting
Chicago, Illinois, United States, 60611
Contact: Angela Anthony    312-227-4559   
Contact: Mary Riordan    312-227-4558   
Principal Investigator: Estella Alonso, MD         
United States, Indiana
Riley Hospital for Children Recruiting
Indianapolis, Indiana, United States, 46202
Contact: Wendy Morlan, RN, CCRP    317-274-9601   
Contact: Ann Klipsch, BSN, RN, CCRC    317.944.9654   
Sub-Investigator: Jean Molleston, MD         
Principal Investigator: Molly Bozic, MD         
United States, Ohio
Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Recruiting
Cincinnati, Ohio, United States, 45229
Contact: Erin Chapman, BAS    513-803-7482   
Contact: Jennifer Hawkins, MS    513-636-7818   
Principal Investigator: Alex Miethke, MD         
United States, Pennsylvania
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Recruiting
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States, 19104
Contact: Motolani Shenbanjo    614-949-4001   
Contact: Mikala Aleksandruk    267-426-2624   
Principal Investigator: Kathleen Loomes, MD         
UPMC Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh Recruiting
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United States, 15224
Contact: Christina Henry, BA    412-692-3905   
Contact: Susan Richey    412-692-6337   
Sub-Investigator: James Squires, MD         
Principal Investigator: Simon Horslen, MD         
Sub-Investigator: Veena Venkat, MD         
United States, Texas
Texas Children's Hospital (Baylor College of Medicine) Recruiting
Houston, Texas, United States, 77030
Contact: Alison Shaw    832-573-0323      
Contact: Cynthia Tsai    832-822-3634   
Principal Investigator: Mary Elizabeth Tessier, MD         
United States, Utah
The University of Utah Recruiting
Salt Lake City, Utah, United States, 84113
Contact: Ann Rutherford, BS, CCRP    801-585-9495   
Contact: Natalie Fillerup    801-587-5670   
Sub-Investigator: Stephen Guthery, MD         
Sub-Investigator: Kyle Jensen, MD         
Sub-Investigator: Linda Book, MD         
Principal Investigator: Mark Deneau, MD         
United States, Washington
Seattle Children's Hospital Recruiting
Seattle, Washington, United States, 98105
Contact: Melissa Young    206-987-1037   
Principal Investigator: Niviann Blondet, MD         
Sub-Investigator: Pamela Valentino, MD         
Canada, Ontario
The Hospital for Sick Children Recruiting
Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5G 1X8
Contact: Deepika Sharma    416.813.7654 ext 201594   
Contact: Claudia Quammie, CCRP    416-813-7654 ext 201594   
Principal Investigator: Binita Kamath, MD         
Sub-Investigator: Vicky Ng, MD         
Sponsors and Collaborators
Arbor Research Collaborative for Health
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
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Study Chair: Cara Mack, MD University of Wisconsin, Madison
Study Director: Ed Doo, MD National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Study Director: Averell Sherker, MD National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK)
Principal Investigator: John Magee, MD University of Michigan
Principal Investigator: Robert Merion, MD Arbor Research Collaborative for Health
Additional Information:

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Responsible Party: Arbor Research Collaborative for Health Identifier: NCT04181138    
Other Study ID Numbers: PSC Study - ChiLDReN Network
2U24DK062456 ( U.S. NIH Grant/Contract )
First Posted: November 29, 2019    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: March 31, 2023
Last Verified: March 2023

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Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Drug Product: No
Studies a U.S. FDA-regulated Device Product: No
Keywords provided by Arbor Research Collaborative for Health:
Pediatric Liver Disease
Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis
Additional relevant MeSH terms:
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Liver Diseases
Cholangitis, Sclerosing
Digestive System Diseases
Bile Duct Diseases
Biliary Tract Diseases