Autoimmune Hepatitis: A Review

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Autoimmune Hepatitis (AIH) is a periportal hepatitis with increased immunoglobulins and auto antibodies, which primarily responds to immunosuppression. It affects women 3.6 times more commonly than men. It is postulated that an environmental agent, either a drug or a virus or another agent seems to trigger a T-cell mediated cascade directed against liver antigens in genetically predisposed individuals to cause AIH. Diagnosis requires exclusion of other causes of liver disease. The diagnostic criteria have been defined in a simplified scoring system introduced by the International Autoimmune Hepatitis Group (IAIHG) in 2008. Current treatment of AIH is based on guidelines published by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) in 2002 and comprises of corticosteroids with azathioprine. Steroids tend to carry a high complication risk profile; hence several newer immunomodulators and biologics are in different stages of trials to assess their efficacy and safety.



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