What is Autoimmune Hepatitis?
Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is an uncommon liver disease which is characterized by inflammation of the liver and/or liver damage caused by an attack on the liver by a person’s own immune system. Because autoimmune hepatitis is chronic, (lasting for many years), if left untreated, it has the potential to lead to cirrhosis (scarring of the liver) and liver failure. However, when diagnosed and treated early, AIH often can be managed effectively with drugs by suppressing the immune system.
Mayo Clinic “Autoimmune Hepatitis” http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/autoimmune-hepatitis/DS00676/ Retrieved on February 17, 2011
National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases “Autoimmune Hepatitis” http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/autoimmunehep/ Retrieved on February 17, 2011
Palmer, M.D., Melissa. Dr. Melissa Palmer’s Guide to Hepatitis & Liver Disease. New York: Avery Trade, 2004.
Worman, MD Howard J. The Liver Disorders and Hepatitis Sourcebook. McGraw-Hill, 2006