Autoimmune Hepatitis Types

How Are the Different Types of Autoimmune Hepatitis Diagnosed?

Specific autoantibodies are used to help diagnose the different types of autoimmune hepatitis. Antibodies are proteins made by the immune system to fight off bacteria and viruses. An autoantibody is an antibody made by the immune system that is directed against one or more of the individual's own proteins.
 
In a person with autoimmune hepatitis, the immune system makes a number of types of autoantibodies. These antibodies can include antinuclear antibodies (ANA), antibodies against smooth muscle cells (ASMA), and liver and kidney microsomes (anti-LKM). The pattern and level of these antibodies help define the type of autoimmune hepatitis a person has.
 
Some specific antibodies that may be present in a person with type 1 autoimmune hepatitis include:
 
  • ANA
  • ASMA.
     
Anti-LKM antibodies are among the antibodies that may be present in a person with type 2 autoimmune hepatitis.
 
The anit-soluble liver antigen/liver-pancreas antibody (anti-SLA/LP antibody) is among the antibodies that may be present in a person with type 3 autoimmune hepatitis.
 
(Click Diagnosing Autoimmune Hepatitis for more information on how this condition is diagnosed.)
 

Treatment and Prognosis for Autoimmune Hepatitis Based on Types

All three autoimmune hepatitis types are treated with daily doses of a corticosteroid called prednisone. Type 1 and type 3 usually respond better than type 2 to steroid medication.
 
About 45 percent of people with type 1 autoimmune hepatitis will eventually develop cirrhosis. About 80 percent of people with type 2 autoimmune hepatitis will eventually develop cirrhosis. About 75 percent of people with type 3 autoimmune hepatitis will eventually develop cirrhosis.
 
(Click Autoimmune Hepatitis Treatment for more information on how this condition is treated.)
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