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As per available reports one relevant journal, two conferences, nine workshops are presently dedicated exclusively to autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) and about six articles are being published on autoimmune hepatitis.
Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is a disease characterized by chronic inflammation of the liver. This type of liver disease occurs when our immune system attacks your liver cells. AIH occurs when your immune system mistakes your liver cells for foreign aggressors and creates antibodies to attack them. AIH is a heterogeneous disorder and it can be divided into two types, depending on which autoantibodies are present.
Type 1: associated with the presence of ASMA or ANA. Accounts for about 75% of patients.
Type 2: associated with the presence of either anti-LKM-1 or anti-liver cytosolic-1 (anti-LC-1) antibodies.
The exact mechanism whereby the body’s own immune system attacks the liver is not yet known. However, certain risk factors have been identified, including:
Other autoimmune conditions may also cause symptoms of liver disease and are also associated with the development of AIH.
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Incidence and prevalence: The disease is rare with a mean incidence of 1-2 per 100,000 and a point prevalence of 11–17 per 100,000. A minority of patients may present with acute liver failure and need liver transplantation, but for the majority, the prognosis of AIH is good and mostly determined by response to corticosteroid therapy. The frequency of autoimmune hepatitis among patients with chronic liver disease in North America is between 11% and 23%. The prevalence of AIH in Europe is estimated as being in the range of 10-17 cases per 100,000 persons. AIH occurs worldwide with a low and probably underestimated prevalence. Although more frequently seen in young women (sex ratio 3.6 : 1), it can affect children and adults of all ages and ethnicities.
Autoimmune hepatitis is a chronic or long lasting disease in which the body’s immune system attacks the normal components, or cells, of the liver and causes inflammation and liver damage. The immune system normally protects people from infection by identifying and destroying bacteria, viruses, and other potentially harmful foreign substances. It is a serious condition that may worsen over time if not treated. Autoimmune hepatitis can lead to cirrhosis and liver failure. Cirrhosis occurs when scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue and blocks the normal flow of blood through the liver. Liver failure occurs when the liver stops working properly. A combination of autoimmunity, environmental triggers, and a genetic predisposition can lead to autoimmune hepatitis. It is more common in females. The disease can occur at any age and affects all ethnic groups.
It has been classified into several types.
Type 1 autoimmune hepatitis is the most common form in North America. Type 1 can occur at any age; however, it most often starts in adolescence or young adulthood. About 70 percent of people with type 1 autoimmune hepatitis are female.
Type 2 autoimmune hepatitis is less common and occurs more often in children than adults. Symptoms include fatigue, joint pain, nausea, and loss of appetite, liver pain, skin rashes, dark yellow urine, jaundice or yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes. Blood test and liver biopsy are done to diagnose the disease. Corticosteroids, immune system suppressors are used in the treatment process.
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This page was last updated on 09th Sep, 2015
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