Autoimmune Liver Diseases

Liver diseases of various etiologies can lead to liver cirrhosis and the need for a liver transplant but are often characterized by unspecific symptoms, such as jaundice, chronic fatigue, or abdominal pain.1,2 Although rare, autoimmune liver diseases represent a major cause of liver cirrhosis, and their differential diagnosis from non-autoimmune liver diseases (such as viral hepatitis) enables the clinician to make informed treatment decisions and to improve a patient’s quality of life.1-5

Primary biliary cholangitis (PBC) and autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) are the most clinically important autoimmune liver diseases.1,2 PBC is characterized by a chronic inflammation of the small bile ducts and impaired bile formation that can lead to liver cirrhosis and the need of a liver transplant.2,4 In case of AIH, an inflammation of the hepatocytes can lead to liver failure.1,6

Learn More

  1. European Association for the Study of the L. EASL Clinical Practice Guidelines: Autoimmune hepatitis. J Hepatol. 2015;63(4):971-1004.
  2. European Association for the Study of the Liver. Electronic address eee, European Association for the Study of the L. EASL Clinical Practice Guidelines: The diagnosis and management of patients with primary biliary cholangitis. J Hepatol. 2017;67(1):145-72.
  3. Poupon R. Primary biliary cirrhosis: a 2010 update. J Hepatol. 2010;52(5):745-58.
  4. Sebode M, Weiler-Normann C, Liwinski T, Schramm C. Autoantibodies in Autoimmune Liver Disease-Clinical and Diagnostic Relevance. Front Immunol. 2018;9:609.
  5. Muratori P, Lenzi M, Cassani F, Lalanne C, Muratori L. Diagnostic approach to autoimmune hepatitis. Expert Rev Clin Immunol. 2017;13(8):769-79.
  6. Francque S, Vonghia L, Ramon A, Michielsen P. Epidemiology and treatment of autoimmune hepatitis. Hepat Med. 2012;4:1-10.
  7. Reshetnyak VI. Primary biliary cirrhosis: Clinical and laboratory criteria for its diagnosis. World J Gastroenterol. 2015;21(25):7683-708.