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Title: Diagnosis and treatment of autoimmune hepatitis at age 65 and older
Authors: Verslype, Chris
George, C
Buchel, E
Nevens, Frederik
Van Steenbergen, Werner
Fevery, Johan #
Issue Date: Mar-2005
Series Title: Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics vol:21 issue:6 pages:695-9
Abstract: AIM: To study features in older patients with autoimmune hepatitis, as this was considered mainly a disease of young females. METHODS: Analysis of 28 patients diagnosed at age > or =65 years compared with 84 younger patients. RESULTS: The incidence was similar at all age decades. The ratio M:F was 1:3 (> or =65 years) vs. 1:2 (<65 years). Presenting symptoms were not different when compared with younger patients and consisted of general malaise and fatigue (36%), jaundice +/- other symptoms (50%), or ascites (11%). Antinuclear antibodies (ANA) > or = 1/80 were positive in 93%, smooth muscle antibodies (SMA) > 1/40 in 50%, anti-liver kidney microsomes (anti-LKM) proved always negative. Histology showed acute necrotizing hepatitis in 19%, severe interphase hepatitis in 15%, chronic hepatitis with plasmo-lymphocytic infiltrate in 30%, cirrhosis in 29% (with active inflammation in one-third); biopsy was refused in 11%. The elderly responded very well to low doses of methylprednisolone (< or =8 mg) and azathioprine (1 mg/kg). This schedule obviates side-effects such as infections seen with higher dosages. CONCLUSION: Autoimmune hepatitis has to be also looked for in the elderly with acute and chronic hepatitis. The steroid therapy should be individualized but kept at a low dose.
URI: 
ISSN: 0269-2813
Publication status: published
KU Leuven publication type: IT
Appears in Collections:Hepatology
# (joint) last author

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