Autoimmune hepatitis is an infection of the liver that occurs when the body's immune system turns against the liver cells. The exact cause of autoimmune hepatitis is unclear, but genetic and environmental factors seem to interact with the timing of the disease. Untreated autoimmune hepatitis can lead to scarring of the liver (cirrhosis) and possibly liver failure. However, with early diagnosis and treatment, autoimmune hepatitis can often be treated with medications that suppress the immune system. Liver transplantation may be an option if autoimmune hepatitis does not respond to drug treatments or advanced liver disease. It is a chronic disease and commonly known as Lupoid Hepatitis. It is characterized by the inflammation of the liver, and this happens when the body’s own immune cells attack at the liver cells and lead to the inflammation.
It may last for many years and if left untreated, it may lead to the development of cirrhosis and liver failure.
The exact mechanism behind this condition is unknown but it is thought that this attack is may be triggered due to the interaction of genes controlling immune-system function and exposure to particular viruses or drugs.
Signs and Symptoms
Following signs and symptoms may appear in the suffering patient;
- Abdominal discomfort
- Yellowing of the skin and eyes (commonly called as jaundice)
- Enlarged liver
- The appearance of abnormal blood vessels on the skin (spider angiomas)
- Skin Rashes
- Joint pain
- In women, may cause loss of menstruation
- Chemotherapy with special dosage design for children and adults separately
- Lifestyle changes
- Liver Transplantation is also an option