Chronic autoimmune hepatitis is a chronic hepatitis of unknown origin that predominantly affects young and middle aged women. It is associated with HLA types A1, B8, DR3 and Dw3.
The cause of autoimmune hepatitis is unknown, but evidence implicates both genetic and environmental factors in its pathogenesis
There are reduced numbers of T-suppressor cells which results in the production of autoantibodies against hepatocyte surface antigens.
The condition may be referred to as lupoid hepatitis as a positive LE cell test occurs in about 15% of patients. However, the condition is distinct from classical systemic lupus erythematous.
The mainstay of treatment is non-specific immunosuppression, consisting of steroids with or without azathioprine
Last edited 02/2021 and last reviewed 03/2021