Autoimmune hepatitis: a review
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- Gossard, A.A. & Lindor, K.D. J Gastroenterol (2012) 47: 498. doi:10.1007/s00535-012-0586-z
Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is an inflammatory liver disease that predominantly affects females. The disease is characterized histologically by interface hepatitis, biochemically by increased aspartate and alanine aminotransferase levels, and serologically by the presence of autoantibodies and elevated levels of immunoglobulin G. AIH affects both adults and children, and is particularly aggressive in the latter group. It is a relatively rare but devastating disease, which progresses rapidly unless immunosuppressive treatment is started promptly. Treatment is often successful at inducing remission of disease, and this can lead to a normal life expectancy. However, progression to cirrhosis can and does occur in some. For those with advanced-stage disease and complications, consideration of liver transplantation is appropriate.