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Dig Liver Dis. 2010 Nov;42(11):757-64. doi: 10.1016/j.dld.2010.05.019. Epub 2010 Jul 7.

Current topics in autoimmune hepatitis.

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Department of Clinical Medicine, Alma Mater Studiorum - University of Bologna, Policlinico Sant'Orsola-Malpighi, Padiglione 11, Bologna, Italy.


Autoimmune hepatitis is a chronic liver disease of unknown aetiology characterized by interface hepatitis, hypergammaglobulinaemia and circulating autoantibodies. In the last decade a number of advancements have been made in the field of clinical and basic research: the simplified diagnostic criteria, the complete response defined as normalization of transaminase levels, the molecular identification of the antigenic targets of anti-liver cytosol antibody type 1 and anti-soluble liver antigen, the detection of anti-actin antibodies, the description of de novo autoimmune hepatitis after liver transplantation for non-autoimmune liver diseases, the characterization of autoimmune hepatitis with overlapping features of primary biliary cirrhosis or primary sclerosing cholangitis, the preliminary experience with novel treatment strategies based on cyclosporine, mycophenolate mofetil and budesonide, the role played by "impaired" regulatory T cells and the development of novel animal models of autoimmune hepatitis.

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