Original Articles

Digestive Diseases and Sciences

, Volume 25, Issue 9, pp 695-699

Chronic active hepatitis

Who meets treatment criteria?
  • Ronald L. KoretzAffiliated withDepartments of Medicine and Pathology, Center for the Health Sciences, University of California at Los Angeles
  • , Klaus J. LewinAffiliated withDepartments of Medicine and Pathology, Center for the Health Sciences, University of California at Los Angeles
  • , Jerry HigginsAffiliated withDepartments of Medicine and Pathology, Center for the Health Sciences, University of California at Los Angeles
  • , Neil D. FagenAffiliated withDepartments of Medicine and Pathology, Center for the Health Sciences, University of California at Los Angeles
  • , Gary L. GitnickAffiliated withDepartments of Medicine and Pathology, Center for the Health Sciences, University of California at Los Angeles

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Abstract

In order to ascertain the proportion of patients with biopsy-proven chronic active hepatitis who meet currently accepted criteria for immunosuppressive treatment, an analysis of 86 patients seen between 1973 and 1978 carrying this diagnosis was undertaken. Only 66 could be confirmed to have this lesion on blind histologic review. Nine of these 66 were on concomitant immunosuppressive therapy, four had inadequate documentation of chronicity, five consumed more than two ounces of alcohol daily, five had concurrent malignancy, two were prepubertal, and one had oxyphenisatin-induced disease. None of the remaining 40 patients met the biochemical criteria for disease activity. The disease was predominantly seen in asymptomatic middle-aged males and was of viral etiology. A small subgroup of elderly female patients was also identified whose disease was apparently nonviral. In conclusion, the vast majority of chronic active hepatitis seen at a large university center occurs in individuals for whom treatment guidelines have not been established.