Doctors and medical researchers do no know the exact reason for this inflammation. It has been discovered though, that like in type 1 diabetes, this is an attack on the immune system's antibodies.
This disorder was first discovered around the year 1950, primarily in young females. Antinuclear antibodies were seen in tests, and the symptomatology closely resembled that of lupus.
This liver disorder is diagnosed in blood tests that identify antinuclear antibodies. Also, a high percentage of increased gamma globulin is present in the blood.
Patients with other autoimmune diseases,such as ulcerative colitis, thyroiditis, and vitilgo which is patchy loss of skin pigmentation, may be likely to have this liver condition.
The most common symptoms seen in this disorder are:
Abdominal fluid (ascites)
tumors on the skin
The best way to be sure of the diagnosis is through a biopsy of the liver which will give the whole picture of the disease present.
Autoimmune hepatitis is treated with immunosuppression drugs such as Prednisone and also another drug called Azathiroprine. This therapy cuts down on the symptoms and liver tests have been known to show improvement. As a result, survival rates are higher than those people who are untreated.
The goal of therapy is to hopefully wipe out the disease process in the liver. With aggressive treatment and continued follow-up, the outcome is pretty good.
Some people with severe degrees of this liver disorder do not respond to the drug therapies given, and therefore have a lesser chance of a good outcome than others who respond well.
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