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Hepatol Int. 2012 Jan;6(1):342-9. doi: 10.1007/s12072-011-9313-8. Epub 2011 Sep 18.

Characteristics of autoimmune hepatitis in the Asia-Pacific Region: historical review.

Author information

1
The Jikei University Graduate School of Medicine Gastroenterology, Tokyo, Japan. zeniya@jikei.ac.jp.
2
The Jikei University Graduate School of Medicine Gastroenterology, Tokyo, Japan.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) has been considered a relatively rare disease in Asia, including Japan, where there is a high frequency of infection with hepatitis viruses.

METHOD:

We reviewd the ethnic differences of clinical features of autoimmume hepatitis by reported paper.

RESULT:

Immunogenetic predisposition, especially differences in human leukocyte antigens (HLAs), has been pointed out as one of the factors for the occurrence of AIH. In other words, HLA-DR3, which is the first disease-susceptibility gene for AIH discovered in UK and the USA, is extremely rare in Asia including Japan. Moreover, HLA-DR4, which is more frequent than HLA-DR3 in Asia, is associated with a favorable response to treatment and improved prognosis. This also explains why diagnosis and treatment of AIH have not drawn as much attention as viral hepatitis. However, as a survey conducted in Japan shows, the number of patients diagnosed with AIH is increasing. However, the number of elderly patients positive for HLA-DR4 is also increasing in UK and the USA.

CONCLUSION:

In the era of genome-wide association studies, further progress of studies on AIH, a typical disease model for immunological liver cell damage, is expected.

KEYWORDS:

Autoimmune hepatitis; Ethnic difference; HLA-DR

PMID:
22020829
DOI:
10.1007/s12072-011-9313-8

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