Learn About Autoimmune Hepatitis

What is the definition of Autoimmune Hepatitis?

Autoimmune hepatitis is inflammation of the liver. It occurs when immune cells mistake the liver's normal cells for harmful invaders and attack them.

Save information for later
Sign Up
What are the alternative names for Autoimmune Hepatitis?

Lupoid hepatitis; Chronic active hepatitis

What are the causes of Autoimmune Hepatitis?

This form of hepatitis is an autoimmune disease. The body's immune system cannot tell the difference between healthy body tissue and harmful, outside substances. The result is an immune response that destroys normal body tissues.

Liver inflammation, or hepatitis, may occur along with other autoimmune diseases. These include:

  • Graves disease
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Rheumatoid arthritis
  • Scleroderma
  • Sjögren syndrome
  • Systemic lupus erythematosus
  • Thyroiditis
  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Ulcerative colitis

Autoimmune hepatitis may occur in family members of people with autoimmune diseases. There may be a genetic cause.

This disease is most common in young girls and women.

What are the symptoms of Autoimmune Hepatitis?

Symptoms may include:

  • Fatigue
  • General discomfort, uneasiness, or ill feeling (malaise)
  • Itching
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Joint pain
  • Pale or clay-colored stools
  • Dark urine
  • Abdominal distention

Absence of menstruation (amenorrhea) may also be a symptom.

Not sure about your diagnosis?
Check Your Symptoms
What are the current treatments for Autoimmune Hepatitis?

You may need prednisone or other corticosteroid medicines to help reduce the inflammation. Azathioprine and 6-mercaptopurine are drugs used to treat other autoimmune disorders. They have also been shown to help people with autoimmune hepatitis.

Some people may need a liver transplant.

Who are the top Autoimmune Hepatitis Local Doctors?
Elite
Elite
 
 
 
 
Learn about our expert tiers
Learn more
Elite
What is the outlook (prognosis) for Autoimmune Hepatitis?

The outcome varies. Corticosteroid medicines may slow the progress of the disease. However, autoimmune hepatitis may advance to cirrhosis. This could require a liver transplant.

What are the possible complications of Autoimmune Hepatitis?

Complications may include:

  • Cirrhosis
  • Side effects from steroids and other medicines
  • Hepatocellular carcinoma
  • Liver failure
  • Bleeding from varices
  • Ascites
  • Hepatic encephalopathy
When should I contact a medical professional for Autoimmune Hepatitis?

Call your health care provider if you notice symptoms of autoimmune hepatitis.

How do I prevent Autoimmune Hepatitis?

In most cases, autoimmune hepatitis cannot be prevented. Knowing the risk factors may help you detect and treat the disease early.

Digestive system
Digestive system organs
What are the latest Autoimmune Hepatitis Clinical Trials?
The Role of the Vitamin D Receptor Gene Polymorphisms in Hepatocarcinogenesis in Cirrhotic Patients Infected With Chronic Hepatitis C Virus
Summary: Previous data have suggested that vitamin D levels may influence cancer development. In particular, several single nucleotide polymorphisms have been described in the Vitamin D receptor( VDR gene), and some polymorphisms are associated with tumor occurrence. For instance, VDR polymorphisms have been related to cancers of the breast, prostate, skin, colon-rectum, bladder and kidney, although with c...
Match to trials
Find the right clinical trials for you in under a minute
Get started
Repeatability and Reproducibility of Multiparametric MRI (LiverMultiScan)
Summary: This study aims to prospectively assess the repeatability and reproducibility of iron-corrected T1 (cT1), T2*, and hepatic proton density fat fraction (PDFF) quantification with multiparametric MRI using the LiverMultiScan™ (LMS, Perspectum Diagnostics, Oxford, UK) protocol across different field strengths, scanner manufacturers and models.
What are the Latest Advances for Autoimmune Hepatitis?
Acute Hepatitis A-Induced Autoimmune Hepatitis: A Case Report and Literature Review.
Summary: Acute Hepatitis A-Induced Autoimmune Hepatitis: A Case Report and Literature Review.
Corticosteroid plus glycyrrhizin therapy for chronic drug- or herb-induced liver injury achieves biochemical and histological improvements: a randomised open-label trial.
Summary: Corticosteroid plus glycyrrhizin therapy for chronic drug- or herb-induced liver injury achieves biochemical and histological improvements: a randomised open-label trial.
Tired of the same old research?
Check Latest Advances
Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt in patients with autoimmune hepatitis-induced cirrhosis and variceal bleeding.
Summary: Transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt in patients with autoimmune hepatitis-induced cirrhosis and variceal bleeding.
Who are the sources who wrote this article ?

Published Date: October 27, 2020
Published By: Michael M. Phillips, MD, Clinical Professor of Medicine, The George Washington University School of Medicine, Washington, DC. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.

What are the references for this article ?

Czaja AJ. Autoimmune hepatitis.In: Feldman M, Friedman LS, Brandt LJ, eds. Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease. 11th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2021:chap 90.

Pawlotsky J-M. Chronic viral and autoimmune hepatitis. In: Goldman L, Schafer AI, eds. Goldman-Cecil Medicine. 26th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2020:chap 140.