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Gastroenterology. 1997 Aug;113(2):664-8.

A novel histological lesion in glucocorticoid-responsive chronic hepatitis.

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  • 1Division of Gastroenterology, New England Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts, USA.


In patients with chronic hepatitis, the diagnosis of autoimmune hepatitis is made on the basis of increased gamma-globulin levels and the presence of circulating autoantibodies. Because these test results are not abnormal universally in patients with autoimmune hepatitis, liver biopsy remains an important part of the evaluation. The classical histological finding in autoimmune hepatitis is lymphocytic infiltration of the portal triads and periportal zone (zone 1) with periportal hepatocyte necrosis. This case report describes 4 patients with glucocorticoid-responsive hepatitis, presumably autoimmune in nature, who had pericentral necrosis (zone 3) with relative sparing of the portal areas in their liver biopsy specimens, a previously undescribed histological finding in autoimmune hepatitis.

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