Clinical characteristics of fulminant-type autoimmune hepatitis: an analysis of eleven cases

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Abstract

Background

Although a few adult cases of fulminant-type autoimmune hepatitis have been reported, their clinical features and prognosis have remained uncertain.

Aim

To assess the clinical features and prognosis of patients with fulminant-type autoimmune hepatitis.

Methods

Eleven patients (10%) diagnosed with fulminant-type autoimmune hepatitis in accordance with the 1999 criteria of the International Autoimmune Hepatitis Group were analysed.

Results

All 11 patients were female, with a median age of 53 years. Five patients survived without liver transplantation, one received a liver transplantation, and five died without liver transplantation. Nine patients (82%) survived for 2 weeks or more following diagnosis, without liver transplantation. Except for the patient receiving a liver transplantation, serum total bilirubin levels measured during the clinical course were significantly higher in non-survivors than in survivors, although the accompanying serum alanine aminotransferase levels measured for the two groups were similar. Most significantly, serum total bilirubin levels in non-survivors worsened during days 8–15, while levels in survivors improved during the same period.

Conclusions

The short-term prognosis for patients with fulminant-type autoimmune hepatitis may be good. However, patients whose serum total bilirubin levels worsen during days 8–15 should be considered for liver transplantation.

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