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A Journal on Gastroenterology, Nutrition and Dietetics

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  LIVER 2013

Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica 2013 June;59(2):133-41

language: English

Autoimmune hepatitis 2013 and beyond

Weiler-Normann C., Sebode M., Lohse A. W.

Department of Medicine University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf Hamburg, Germany


Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is a chronic inflammatory liver disease leading to cirrhosis and its complications if left untreated. Clinical features include elevated transaminases, elevated immunoglobulin G and the presence of autoantibodies. A liver biopsy is necessary for the establishment of the diagnosis. If treated properly and timely, prognosis of AIH is excellent. Standard treatment today consists of azathioprine and prednisolone and leads to remission in the vast majority of patients. Intolerance to standard treatment or imcomplete remission as well as special patient groups such as pregnant patients or elderly patients require second- or sometimes even third-line treatments. For those patients, a number of effective drugs are available off-label and induction of remission will be possible in the vast majority of patients. Choice of drug regimen is important as drug-drug-interactions, concomitant diseases, age and gender of the patients have to be taken into account to achieve a tolerable side effect profile and good quality of life in patients. Mycophenolate mofetil is the drug of first choice in azathioprine intolerance. Other treatments may include the use of cyclosporine, tacrolimus, cyclophosphamide or biologicals such as rituximab or infliximab. Close monitoring of the patients will be necessary as side effects may occur.

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