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Arthritis Res Ther. 2011 Jun 30;13(3):226. doi: 10.1186/ar3319.

Liver involvement in subjects with rheumatic disease.

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Department of Medicine and Autoimmunity and Metabolism Unit, IRCCS-Istituto Clinico Humanitas, University of Milan, via. A. Manzoni 56, 20089 Rozzano (MI), Italy.


The liver is often overlooked as a target organ, with pathology either secondary to an underlying disease or due to the toxicity of therapies and the medical complications of extrahepatic diseases. It is thus important for the clinical rheumatologist to be aware of the diagnostic procedure to monitor liver injury. Indeed, systemic rheumatologic diseases may be associated with liver abnormalities secondary to the presence of a coexisting autoimmune liver disease (particularly primary biliary cirrhosis or autoimmune hepatitis), the direct involvement of the liver parenchyma, or the impact of medical treatments (particularly methotrexate) on the liver. In addition, the rheumatologist should be aware of the impact of immunosuppressive agents on underlying viral infections, particularly viral hepatitis. We review herein the data on the role of the liver in the clinical management of systemic rheumatic diseases.

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