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Internist (Berl). 2009 Mar;50(3):310-7. doi: 10.1007/s00108-008-2254-1.

[Autoimmune liver diseases].

[Article in German]

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I. Medizinische Klinik, Universitätsklinikum Hamburg-Eppendorf, Martinistrasse 52, 24046, Hamburg, Deutschland.


Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) can occur in all age groups. AIH affects women more commonly than men (3:1). Clinical presentation may be an acute hepatitis up to fulminant liver failure, but can also be asymptomatic. AIH is characterized by lymphoplasmacellular infiltrates on liver biopsy, elevated liver enzymes in serum and the absence of active viral markers. Patients characteristically present with hypergammaglobulinemia, elevated serum levels of IgG and autoantibodies. Corticosteroids are the drug of choice for induction of remission, azathioprine the drug of choice for maintenance of remission. Rapid response to immunosuppressive treatment supports the diagnosis and leads to a good long-term prognosis.Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) are immune mediated diseases affecting bile ducts. While PBC has a slow progression to cirrhosis and complications mostly will be limited to complications of cirrhosis, PSC additionally carries a high risk of developing cholangiocellular carcinoma. The treatment of choice in PBC and PSC is oral ursodeoxycholic acid which may slow progression of liver disease and may ameliorate lab findings.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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