Pathological features of primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) are reviewed. Immune-mediated, non-suppurative cholangitis is the initial lesion and is followed by the gradual and extensive destruction of bile ducts and development of chronic cholestasis. Simultaneously, necro-inflammatory activities of the hepatic parenchyma and limiting plates of milder form develop not infrequently. Eventually, liver fibrosis and cirrhosis develop. A new system applicable to needle liver biopsies in which staging is evaluated using a combination of three factors (fibrosis, cholestasis, and bile duct loss) and necro-inflammatory activities of the bile duct and hepatic parenchyma are graded, is proposed. The clinical and therapeutic evaluation of PBC using this system is warranted.Le texte complet de cet article est disponible en PDF.