The causes of autoimmune hepatitis have not been established definitively. To date, discusses the role of different viruses in the initiation of autoimmune processes in the liver. This hepatitis viruses of different groups, herpes viruses, cytomegalovirus.
It is believed that in patients with autoimmune hepatitis, impaired immunological tolerance of the liver. In the liver produced antibodies to sections of liver cells - cells nuclei, microsomes, smooth muscles. Get sick more often than young women and girls, less disease occurs in men and women after 50 years.
During the gradual progression of autoimmune hepatitis, with frequent relapses. Severe liver damage. The patient had jaundice occurs, the degree of which increases gradually. Increased body temperature. There is a constant pain in the liver. On the skin appear smaller and larger hemorrhages. Revealed an enlarged liver and spleen. Extrahepatic characters, such as liver palms and an asterisk (telangiectasias) are available in almost all patients.
In autoimmune hepatitis disease process is not limited to changes of the liver. The patient revealed enlarged lymph nodes in different areas, often have joint pain, minor pain of many joints to severe joint destruction, accompanied by swelling of the joints and a violation of its functions. On the part of the skin may appear psoriasis, localized scleroderma, and various rashes. There are muscle pain, muscle compression. There may be a kidney problem, until the development of chronic glomerulonephritis. Sometimes there is a lesion of the heart, manifested by an inflammatory heart muscle disease - myocarditis.
In the biochemical analysis of blood point increase in liver enzymes (ALT, AST, alkaline phosphatase), an increase in thymol, bilirubin, impaired concentration in the blood protein fractions. Detect changes in the blood, characteristic of systemic inflammatory processes, identify various autoantibodies. At the same markers of viral hepatitis can not be detected.
Treatment of chronic autoimmune hepatitis. At diagnosis of autoimmune hepatitis are appointed by corticosteroid hormones (prednisone) or their combination with azathioprine. Begin treatment with high doses, then move on to support that the patient should receive up to three years. Then, in the absence of progression of hepatitis, hormone therapy is gradually overturned.