Lupus Hepatitis and Autoimmune Hepatitis (Lupoid Hepatitis)

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Liver dysfunction occurs in approximately 50% of patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and patients with SLE and elevated liver enzymes can present a complicated and difficult differential diagnosis. Lupus hepatitis and autoimmune hepatitis are 2 immunologic conditions involving the liver, which can have similar clinical, laboratory and systemic presentations, leading to difficulties in diagnosis. Physicians need to be aware of these 2 hepatic diseases as diagnosis and appropriate therapy need to occur early in the disease course to prevent progression to advanced liver disease. We review the liver diseases associated with SLE and discuss the approach to the diagnostic evaluation of these patients. In particular, differentiation between lupus hepatitis and autoimmune hepatitis requires careful clinical and often histologic evaluation.

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