Autoimmune hepatitis is a condition in which the patient's own immune systems attacks the liver causing inflammation and liver cell death. The condition is chronic and progressive. Although the disease is chronic, many patients with autoimmune hepatitis present acutely ill with jaundice, fever and sometimes symptoms of severe hepatic dysfunction, a picture that resembles acute hepatitis.
"Autoimmune hepatitis usually occurs in women (70 %) between the ages of 15 and 40. Although the term "lupoid" hepatitis was originally used to describe this disease, patients with systemic lupus erythematosus do not have an increased incidence of autoimmune hepatitis and the two diseases are distinct entities. Patients usually present with evidence of moderate to severe hepatitis with elevated serum ALT and AST activities in the setting of normal to marginally elevated alkaline phosphatase and gamma-glutamyltranspeptidase activities. The patient will sometimes present with jaundice, fever and right upper quadrant pain and occasionally systemic symptoms... Read More