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Hepatology. 2013 Jun;57(6):2399-406. doi: 10.1002/hep.26290. Epub 2013 May 1.

Predictors of poor outcome in patients w ith autoimmune hepatitis: a population-based study.

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Department of Gastroenterology, Christchurch Hospital, Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand.


Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) can lead to cirrhosis, hepatic failure, and death. We aimed to identify predictors of advanced liver fibrosis at presentation, predictors of incomplete response to initial immunosuppression, and predictors of poor liver-related outcomes in the population-based AIH cohort from Canterbury, New Zealand. Cases diagnosed after 1980 that fulfilled standard diagnostic criteria were included. Cases were censored at death or liver transplantation and had a median follow-up of 9 years. Analyses were performed with Cox proportional hazards regression and logistic binary regression. The times to event outcomes were summarized using Kaplan-Meier curves. A total of 133 AIH patients were included. Predictors for advanced liver fibrosis at diagnosis were age at presentation of ≤20 years or >60 years (P = 0.02), serum albumin <36 g/L (P < 0.01), platelet <150 U/L (P < 0.01), and International Normalized Ratio (INR) >1.2 (P < 0.01). The only independent predictor for incomplete normalization of alanine aminotransferase (ALT) at 6 months was age at presentation ≤20 years. Independent predictors of poor liver-related outcomes were incomplete normalization of ALT at 6 months (P < 0.01), serum albumin <36 g/L (P < 0.01), and age at presentation of ≤20 years or >60 years (P = 0.01). Kaplan-Meier estimates showed that 10-year adverse liver event-free survival was 80% for age at presentation ≤20 years and >60 years, and 93% and 100% for age at presentation between 21-40 years and 41-60 years, respectively.


Incomplete normalization of ALT at 6 months, low serum albumin concentration at diagnosis, and age at presentation of ≤20 years or >60 years were significant independent predictors of liver-related death or requirement for liver transplantation. Histological cirrhosis at diagnosis was not associated with poor prognosis and did not influence the response to initial immunosuppressive treatment. (HEPATOLOGY 2013;57:2399-2406).

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