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J Hepatol. 1994 Mar;20(3):336-42.

Possible role of HLA in hepatotoxicity. An exploratory study in 71 patients with drug-induced idiosyncratic hepatitis.

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Unité de Recherche de Physiopathologie Hépatique (INSERM U24), Hôpital Beaujon, Clichy, France.


Possible associations between particular human leucocyte antigen molecules and immunoallergic hepatitis have been suggested previously (HLA-A11 in halothane hepatitis, HLA-DR6 and DR2 in nitrofurantoin hepatitis, HLA-B8 in clometacin hepatitis). In this study the HLA haplotype was determined in 71 patients with idiosyncratic hepatitis due to different drugs. The prevalence of HLA-A11 was twice as high in the 71 patients in the study (23%) as in controls (12%), but p-values were not significant when corrections were made for the large number of comparisons (n = 39). The prevalences of HLA-DR2, DR6, and B8 were similar in the 71 patients and in controls. When hepatitis due to particular drugs was considered, HLA-A11 was found to be present in six of 12 patients (50%) with hepatitis caused by tricyclic antidepressants, and three of four patients (75%) with diclofenac hepatitis, compared to 12% in controls. HLA-DR6 was present in four of five patients (80%) with chlorpromazine hepatitis, compared to 22% in controls. In conclusion, the HLA phenotype does not contribute significantly to idiosyncratic drug-induced hepatitis considered collectively. Possible associations between some HLA molecules and the hepatotoxicity of certain drugs require further confirmation.

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