Autoimmune liver disease and therapy in childhood
Autoimmune hepatitis is a chronic immune-mediated disease of the liver. In childhood, autoimmune liver disorders include autoimmune hepatitis type I and II, autoimmune sclerosing cholangitis, Coombs-positive giant cell hepatitis, and de novo autoimmune hepatitis after liver transplantation. Autoimmune liver disease has a more aggressive course in children, especially autoimmune hepatitis type II. Standard therapy is a combination of corticosteroids and azathioprine. Around 80 % of children with autoimmune liver disease show a rapid response to combination therapy. The non-responders are treated with more potent drugs, otherwise autoimmune disease progresses to cirrhosis of the liver and the child needs liver transplantation as rescue therapy.
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