Gut Instincts: A Clinician's Handbook of Digestive and Liver Diseases

Eric Esrailian, MD, MPH

Chapter 39: Autoimmune Hepatitis (continued)

Vivian Ng, MD; Sammy Saab, MD, MPH, AGAF

Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is a chronic inflammatory disease of the liver of unknown etiology and is characterized by the presence of specific histological changes, circulating auto-antibodies, and hypergammaglobulinemia. AIH can occur in patients of all ages, and women are affected more than men. The pathogenesis involves a cascade of events that occurs in genetically predisposed individuals. An environmental agent is believed to trigger the process that leads to AIH. The exact relationships between genes and the autoimmune process remain largely undefined, but certain viruses and drugs have…