About 50% of people with type 1 autoimmune hepatitis have an existing autoimmune disorder. People with autoimmune hepatitis are vulnerable to serious complications including enlarged esophageal veins, fluid accumulation in the abdomen, liver cancer, and liver failure.
What is Autoimmune Hepatitis?
utoimmune hepatitis is a disease in which an immune system overreaction causes the body to attack the liver. As a result, the liver becomes inflamed. Fewer than 200,000 cases per year take place. Fatigue, abdominal discomfort, and joint pain are among the most common symptoms.
Over time, autoimmune hepatitis develops a number of more severe symptoms. These include enlarged liver, skin rashes, and more intense pain. Yellowing of skin and the whites of the eyes indicates reduced liver function. Women may lose their menstrual periods entirely.
There are two distinct types of autoimmune hepatitis:
What Causes Autoimmune Hepatitis?
The precise cause of autoimmune hepatitis is not yet known. Research indicates that there is a genetic component to the disease. Over time, exposure to certain environmental factors makes a case of autoimmune hepatitis more likely.
Risk factors include:
- Genetic predisposition to autoimmune hepatitis inherited from parents
- A history of measles, herpes simplex, or Epstein-Barr virus infections
- A history of other hepatitis infections, including hepatitis A, B, or C
- A current autoimmune disease like celiac disease or Graves’ disease
- Gender – women are more likely than men to experience the disorder
How is Autoimmune Hepatitis Diagnosed?
Blood tests help doctors to distinguish viral hepatitis from autoimmune hepatitis. If a blood test suggests autoimmune hepatitis, then a liver biopsy is performed to confirm the diagnosis. This consists of removing a very tiny sample of liver tissue through a needle and analyzing it.
It may take days or even a few weeks to complete a liver biopsy analysis, since it must be performed at a specialized medical lab. In addition to confirming the diagnosis, the test will also help your doctor determine the degree and type of organ damage.
How is Autoimmune Hepatitis Treated or Cured?
In general, the immune system’s assault on the liver does not stop without treatment. This can lead to long-term scarring of the liver and interfere with its function. As a result, it’s important to be proactive about seeing a doctor when you have any symptoms that may be related in order to find a potential autoimmune hepatitis treatment.
A combination of medications can be used to slow down the rate of immune system attacks on the liver. For some patients, this may halt progression of the disease entirely. Medication must be monitored closely by a doctor, but it can lead to complete remission.
A healthy, balanced diet is best for autoimmune disorders. This includes a focus on greens and the elimination of processed foods. Whole grains, nuts, legumes, vegetables, lean meats and fish are the core of a health diet and weight. Maintaining a healthy weight can help your liver to work more efficiently.
Patients should reduce or eliminate alcohol intake. Alcohol is processed through the liver and can accelerate cirrhosis (chronic damage and scarring) to it. This is especially problematic for drinkers that have existing liver disease. For social drinkers, it may be easiest to discuss the condition with friends and family so there is less pressure to drink during holidays and celebrations.
Autoimmune Hepatitis Clinical Trials
The following clinical trial are the most up to date provided by Clinicaltrials.gov. If you would like us to feature some additional trials, please feel free to notify our team.
ClinicalTrials.gov: Recruiting Studies | Autoimmune Hepatitis | Last update posted in the last 300 days Studies found on ClinicalTrials.gov by a search of: Recruiting Studies | Autoimmune Hepatitis | Last update posted in the last 300 days
Abatacept for Treatment of Recurrent or de Novo Autoimmune Hepatitis
on December 18, 2019 at 5:00 pm
Condition: Autoimmune HepatitisIntervention: Drug: Orencia® (Abatacept)Sponsor: Stuart Knechtle, M.D.Recruiting
A Phase 2a Study to Evaluate the Safety and Efficacy of Cannabidiol Only as Maintenance Therapy and Steroid Sparing in Patients With Stable Autoimmune Hepatitis
on October 16, 2019 at 4:00 pm
Condition: Autoimmune HepatitisIntervention: Drug: CannabidiolSponsor: Stero Biotechs Ltd.Recruiting
Repeatability and Reproducibility of Multiparametric MRI
on November 16, 2018 at 5:00 pm
Conditions: Liver Diseases; Primary Biliary Cirrhosis; Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease; Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis; Cirrhosis; Hemochromatosis; Viral Hepatitis; Autoimmune Hepatitis; Primary Sclerosing CholangitisIntervention: Device: LiverMultiScanSponsor: Perspectum Diagnostics LtdRecruiting
Biomarkers to Predict the Success of Immunosuppression Withdrawal in Autoimmune Hepatitis
on October 18, 2018 at 4:00 pm
Condition: Autoimmune HepatitisIntervention: Behavioral: Immunosuppression withdrawalSponsor: Hospital Clinic of BarcelonaRecruiting
Canadian Network for Autoimmune Liver Disease
on June 26, 2018 at 4:00 pm
Conditions: Primary Bilary Cirrhosis (PBC); Autoimmune Hepatitis; Overlap SyndromeIntervention: Other: Observational; no interventionSponsor: University Health Network, TorontoRecruiting
ADCC Mediated B-Cell dEpletion and BAFF-R Blockade
on July 14, 2017 at 4:00 pm
Condition: Autoimmune HepatitisInterventions: Biological: VAY736; Other: PlaceboSponsor: Novartis PharmaceuticalsRecruiting
Swiss Autoimmune Hepatitis Cohort Study
on May 10, 2017 at 4:00 pm
Condition: Hepatitis, AutoimmuneIntervention: Sponsor: Fondazione Epatocentro TicinoRecruiting
Study of the Clinical Features of Autoimmune Hepatitis
on December 16, 2016 at 5:00 pm
Condition: Hepatitis, AutoimmuneIntervention: Other: Different biochemical results or pathogenesis.Sponsors: Li Yang; West China HospitalRecruiting
Hepatitis A Vaccine Dosing Regimens Among Pediatric Rheumatology Patients on Immunosuppressive Therapy
on September 28, 2016 at 4:00 pm
Condition: Autoimmune Rheumatologic DiseaseInterventions: Biological: Avaxim Pediatric®; Biological: Avaxim ® (adult)Sponsor: University of CalgaryRecruiting
Induction of Regulatory t Cells by Low Dose il2 in Autoimmune and Inflammatory Diseases
on November 20, 2013 at 5:00 pm
Conditions: Rheumatoid Arthritis; Ankylosing Spondylitis; Systemic Lupus Erythematosus; Psoriasis; Behcet's Disease; Wegener's Granulomatosis; Takayasu's Disease; Crohn's Disease; Ulcerative Colitis; Autoimmune Hepatitis; Sclerosing Cholangitis; Gougerot-sjögren; Idiopathic Thrombocytopenic Purpura; Systemic SclerosisIntervention: Drug: Interleukin 2Sponsors: Assistance Publique - Hôpitaux de Paris; Iltoo PharmaRecruiting