Immunological studies in a case of hepatitis following methyldopa administration

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Abstract

Jaundice with evidence of hepatocellular damage of moderate severity was observed in a patient who received methyldopa. The diffuse mononuclear infiltration of the liver tissue was found to consist of 90% Erosette forming cells. Peripheral lymphocytes gave a markedly positive macrophage migration inhibition (MIF) test against methyldopa. The number of T lymphocytes in the peripheral blood was at the lower limit of normal but they proved to be functionally inactive, as demonstrated by the results of a local xenogeneic graft-vs-host reaction test. The liver disease was associated with hyperglobulinemia, a decrease of the third and fourth components of complement and the presence of incomplete erythrocytic antibodies, leukoagglutinins, antinuclear factor, and smooth muscle antibody. Follow-up after discontinuation of the drug revealed a gradual return to normal of liver function and MIF tests, normalization of cellular

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