It is a defines as an inflammation of liver due to the activity of immune cells. In this condition our own immune system start to make antibodies against the liver cells which will destroy the hepatocyte and elicit the condition called autoimmune hepatitis.
Signs and symptoms depend upon the overall health condition of the person and may vary among the people. Below mention are the signs and symptoms of autoimmune hepatitis:
- Skin rashes
- Dilated blood vessels (spider angiomas)
- Abdominal pain
- Distended abdomen
- Enlarged liver
The exact cause of autoimmune hepatitis is not known yet but it may be assumed that certain condition may predispose this condition like viral illness and inflammatory bowel disease may linked to the certain autoimmune condition. Sometime chronic inflammation of liver may also lead to autoimmune hepatitis.
If left untreated it may lead to following complications:
- Fluid retention in the abdomen cause the ascites.
- Liver failure
- Liver carcinoma
- Esophageal varices (enlarged veins in esophagus)
After taking history and your doctor may perform the abdominal examination to check the visible sign and symptoms of hepatitis and might recommend the following tests to confirm the diagnosis:
- Blood test to check the complete blood count and to evaluate the other causes of hepatitis.
- Liver biopsy to rule out the risk of liver cancer.
The main object of treatment is to stop or reduce the inflammation and prevent the complications of autoimmune hepatitis. The first line drug to control the inflammation is corticosteroids prednisone. High doses will be prescribed during the start of treatment and then lower the doses as the inflammation is taking under control. Liver transplant surgery is also the treatment option in which liver parenchyma is severely damage and does not recovered with medicines.