Autoimmune Hepatitis

Also known as: lupoid hepatitis, Type I autoimmune hepatitis, Type II autoimmune hepatitis.

What is autoimmune hepatitis?

An autoimmune disorder refers to a medical condition in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own organs and tissues, thinking they are a foreign invader. Autoimmune hepatitis occurs when the immune system attacks the liver, which leads to liver damage and inflammation.

What causes autoimmune hepatitis?
It’s not entirely clear why autoimmune hepatitis occurs in some people. Some individuals seem more predisposed to the condition genetically than others. In some instances, while helping to fight off a viral infection, a person’s immune system mistakenly thinks that liver cells look like the virus particles creating the infection, and thus involves the liver in an inflammatory process.

What are the symptoms of autoimmune hepatitis?
Symptoms of autoimmune hepatitis can include jaundice (yellow skin or eyes), joint pain, nausea, fatigue, liver pain, skin rashes, unusual urine or stools, rarely acute liver failure, and others.

What are autoimmune hepatitis care options?
Medications are available to suppress the action of the immune system and help with the symptoms of autoimmune hepatitis. A liver transplant is another treatment possibility.   

Reviewed by: John M. Peters, DO

This page was last updated on: 2/5/2018 3:44:42 PM

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Nicklaus Children's Expands Pediatric Gastroenterology Services
The Section of Pediatric Gastroenterology at Nicklaus Children's is growing to better meet the needs of our community, we have opened a new office on the hospital's main campus!