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Minerva Med. 1978 Aug 18;69(38):2605-9.

Immunosuppressive therapy in chronic liver disease.


Immunosuppressive treatment with prednisolone and/or azathioprine has been assessed in three chronic liver diseases with immunological features, namely chronic active hepatitis, cryptogenic cirrhosis and primary biliary cirrhosis. In chronic active hepatitis, controlled prospective clinical trials have shown clinical, biochemical and hepatic histological improvement when prednisolone with or without azathioprine is employed. Azathioprine alone has no advantage over placebo tablets. Cirrhosis is probably not prevented. Selection of patients for treatment, the response and therapeutic regimes are discussed. Patients with hepatitis B surface antigen positive chronic active hepatitis have a worse therapeutic response than those patients with chronic active hepatitis who are HBsAg negative. In primary biliary cirrhosis, corticosteroid treatment is contra-indicated on account of bone thinning. Azathioprine has been used in controlled clinical trials and is of only marginal benefit.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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