Autoimmune chronic hepatitis

It is estimated between 11% and 23% of cases of long-term liver inflammation (chronic hepatitis) in North America result from damage to the liver caused by the body's own immune system.1 It is not known why the body's immune system begins to attack the liver cells in what is called an autoimmune response.

Autoimmune chronic hepatitis can be treated successfully with medication. If it is not treated, the condition progresses slowly until liver cells are replaced by scar tissue (cirrhosis) and liver failure occurs.


  1. Czaja AJ (2006). Autoimmune hepatitis. In M Feldman et al., eds., Sleisenger and Fordtran's Gastrointestinal and Liver Disease, 8th ed., vol. 2, pp. 1869–1884. Philadelphia: W.B. Saunders.

Last Updated: January 22, 2010

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