Gut Liver.  2022 Jan;16(1):28-36. 10.5009/gnl210116.

Classification and Diagnostic Criteria for IgG4-Related Sclerosing Cholangitis

  • 1Department of Gastroenterology, Nagoya City University Graduate School of Medical Sciences, Nagoya, Japan


IgG4-related sclerosing cholangitis (IgG4-SC) can be classified into four types based on cholangiographic findings and regions of biliary stricture. This cholangiographic classification is useful to differentiate IgG4-SC from mimickers including cholangiocarcinoma, primary sclerosing cholangitis, and pancreatic cancer. Autoimmune pancreatitis (AIP) is a valuable clue for the diagnosis of IgG4-SC because the two are frequently found in association with each other. Two sets of diagnostic criteria for IgG4-SC have been proposed. In Japan, the clinical diagnostic criteria 2020 were recently developed. These clinical diagnostic criteria include narrowing of the intrahepatic and/or extrahepatic bile duct, thickening of the bile duct wall, serological findings, pathological findings, other organ involvement, and effectiveness of steroid therapy. When these criteria are applied, IgG4-SC is initially classified as associated or not associated with AIP, and cholangiographic classification is used for differential diagnosis. In most instances, IgG4-SC can be diagnosed on the basis of clinical diagnostic criteria. However, it is challenging to diagnose isolated IgG4-SC or IgG4-SC not associated with AIP. Here, we review the classification and diagnostic criteria for IgG4-SC, specifically focusing on the clinical diagnostic criteria 2020 and a large IgG4-SC case series from a nationwide survey in Japan.


Autoimmune pancreatitis; Cholangiographic classification; Diagnostic criteria; IgG4-related sclerosing cholangitis
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