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J Pediatr Gastroenterol Nutr. 2006 Nov;43(5):635-9.

Follow-up of children with autoimmune hepatitis treated with cyclosporine.

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Gastroenterology Unit, Hospital Juan P. Garrahan, Buenos Aires, Argentina.



To evaluate the effectiveness of cyclosporine in inducing and maintaining remission of the inflammatory process in autoimmune hepatitis, when used in combination with low doses of prednisone and azathioprine and to identify the prognostic factors associated with sustained remission.


Eighty-four patients with autoimmune hepatitis were consecutively recruited from 5 centers between January 1994 and March 2001. Cyclosporine was administered during the first 6 months. Thereafter, in patients with aminotransferase levels of lower than twice the normal values, prednisone and azathioprine were initiated.


Normal aminotransferase levels were observed in 94.05% (79/84) of the patients, 72% of them within the first 6 months of treatment. Total serum bilirubin level of greater than 1.2 mg/dL and portal hypertension at diagnosis jointly predicted a significant delay in remission. Adverse effects related to cyclosporine remained mild and transient. Low doses of prednisone and standard doses of azathioprine were not implicated in relapse of the disease during the follow-up of any patient.


This protocol allowed control of the liver inflammatory process and was well tolerated. The response to this immunosuppressive therapy can be predicted with accuracy. Factors delaying remission can be identified early at diagnosis and may contribute to the development of more effective treatment policies for this condition.

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