Author(s): Hunter M, Loughrey MB, Gray M, Ellis P, McDougall N,
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Abstract AIMS: Overlap syndromes constitute a significant proportion of autoimmune liver disease. Our aim was to describe our cohort and evaluate practical methods of correctly diagnosing autoimmune hepatitis/primary sclerosing cholangitis overlap syndrome as early as possible clinically. METHODS: 118 autoimmune hepatitis patients were screened for cholestatic liver function tests. 24 patients with cholestatic liver function tests were investigated for possible primary sclerosing cholangitis by clinicopathological review and magnetic resonance cholangiography. Retrospectively, potential predictors of autoimmune hepatitis/primary sclerosing cholangitis overlap syndrome were compared with a control group. RESULTS: Overlap syndrome was diagnosed in twelve (50\%) of 24 autoimmune hepatitis patients with recent cholestasis. The cholestatic group had a lower AST (p=0.012) and International Autoimmune Hepatitis Group (IAHG) score (p=0.102), and higher IgM (p=0.002) at disease presentation. More patients in the cholestatic group developed ulcerative colitis (p=0.138). CONCLUSIONS: Identifying AIH / PSC overlap syndrome at diagnosis is often difficult. Certain clinical and biochemical features should alert the clinician. All patients with AIH, and biochemical cholestasis should be investigated with MRC.
This article was published in Ulster Med J
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Cellular Immunology