Author(s): BenAri Z, Dhillon AP, Sherlock S
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Abstract We describe four patients with features overlapping those of primary biliary cirrhosis and autoimmune chronic active hepatitis. Three were female and one was male; only one was symptomatic. Serum biochemical study showed increases in alkaline phosphatase and alpha-glutamyltranspeptidase levels. Markers of hepatitis B and C viruses were absent. In all four patients, serum mitochondrial antibodies could not be detected on immunofluorescence study and serum M2 antibodies were absent. All four patients had high titers of serum antinuclear antibody of diffuse type. Serum actin antibodies were detected in all four patients. Liver biopsy specimens showed histological features of primary biliary cirrhosis, with marked cellular infiltration of the portal areas and bile duct damage. Intralobular inflammation and piecemeal necrosis were mild. Three patients were treated with prednisolone and showed rapid clinical and biochemical remission. Serial liver biopsy specimens showed reduced inflammation, but bile duct lesions persisted. These patients probably form a subgroup of autoimmune chronic active type 1 with predominant bile duct damage. The subgroup might be termed autoimmune cholangiopathy.
This article was published in Hepatology
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology