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J Hepatol. 2000 Sep;33(3):371-5.

Mycophenolate mofetil for maintenance of remission in autoimmune hepatitis in patients resistant to or intolerant of azathioprine.

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  • 1Department of Gastroenterology, Queen's Medical Centre, University Hospital, Nottingham, UK.



Azathioprine is standard therapy for maintenance of remission in patients with autoimmune hepatitis. However, approximately 15% of patients are intolerant of therapy and 10% do not respond to it. There is a need for alternative therapies. We describe here the results of mycophenolate mofetil therapy in patients with autoimmune hepatitis.


We studied seven patients with type 1 AIH (six female). Three were intolerant of azathioprine and had elevated transaminases and liver histology showing active disease despite prednisolone therapy. Four had been on a dose of 2 mg per kg of azathioprine without complete normalisation of ALT, and had liver biopsies showing active disease. All were treated with mycophenolate 1 g bd and were followed for a median of 46 months (21-59). End points were improvement in histological inflammation, ALT and prednisolone dose.


Five of the seven (71%) patients had normal transaminases after 3 months of treatment. The steroid dose fell from a median of 20 mg per day to 2 mg per day at 9 months (p=0.0001) and the hepatic activity index fell from median 11 to 3 (p=0.001) after 7 months of therapy. One patient required dose reduction because of a fall in white cell count. No other adverse effects were seen.


Mycophenolate mofetil is effective and well tolerated in patients with type 1 AIH who are intolerant of, or do not respond to, azathioprine.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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