Autoimmune Hepatitis

What Causes Autoimmune Hepatitis?

It is not known exactly why the immune system attacks the liver causing autoimmune hepatitis. However, it is believed that this disease occurs in a genetically predisposed person triggering the body to initiate an autoimmune attack against the liver. The belief is that the disease itself is not inherited, but that the susceptibility to have the disease is due to a genetic defect, therefore, autoimmune hepatitis is rarely found in more than one member of the same family. It is also thought that some diseases, toxins and drugs may trigger autoimmune hepatitis in susceptible people, especially women.

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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