Autoimmune Hepatitis

How is Autoimmune Hepatitis Diagnosed?

To confirm a diagnosis of autoimmune hepatitis, blood tests are performed to rule out other forms of hepatitis and other disorders with similar symptoms. Antibody tests will also pinpoint what type of autoimmune hepatitis exists. Finally, a liver biopsy is performed to confirm the diagnosis and determine the extent of damage to the liver. During the biopsy procedure, a thin needle is inserted through the skin to the liver, removing a small piece of liver tissue which is then sent off to a laboratory for analysis.

Testing for AIH is strongly suggested for individuals presenting with symptoms that are not taking drugs, not abusing alcohol and not having a family history of any metabolic liver disease or evidence of viral hepatitis.

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

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