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Gastroenterology. 1992 Oct;103(4):1290-5.

Frequency and significance of antibodies to liver/kidney microsome type 1 in adults with chronic active hepatitis.

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  • 1Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology, Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota.


To assess the frequency of antibodies to liver/kidney microsome type 1 (anti-LKM1) in patients with chronic active hepatitis, 131 such patients were tested by an indirect immunofluorescence assay. Of 62 patients with type 1 autoimmune hepatitis, none were seropositive. In contrast, 3 of 11 patients with autoimmune hepatitis and antimitochondrial antibodies (27%) were seropositive for anti-LKM1. Each had responded to corticosteroid therapy, and retesting of sera confirmed that each had been misclassified as antimitochondrial antibody positive. None of the patients with chronic active hepatitis B (14 patients) or C (24 patients) had anti-LKM1. Similarly, none of the 20 patients with cryptogenic disease had these antibodies. It is concluded that anti-LKM1 is specific for type 2 autoimmune hepatitis and is infrequent in adult patients seen at a referral center in the United States for chronic active hepatitis. Anti-LKM1 reactivity may be misinterpreted as antimitochondrial antibody reactivity by indirect immunofluorescence. Chronic hepatitis B and C virus infections are not important stimuli for the production of anti-LKM1, and testing for anti-LKM 1 is unlikely to clarify the nature of cryptogenic disease.

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