Gastroenterologia Japonica

, Volume 26, Issue 1, pp 102–108 | Cite as

Autoimmune hepatitis: The realities and the uncertainties

  • Ian R. Mackay


The concept of autoimmue hepatitis has developed over the past 35–40 years. Despite continuing debate over the nosologie status of this disease, there are certain “realities” that argue for autoimmune hepatitis as an entity.

The uncertainties include valid criteria for distinguishing the autoimmune from other types of CAH, and the applicability of the marker antibodies for diagnosis. A reliable animal model is lacking. The initiating process, infectious or other, is unknown. The immunological events that determine self-perpetuation need elucidation. These include the identity of the liver membrane autoantigen, the immunogenetic contribution, the respective roles in pathogenesis of helper, suppressor and cytotoxic T lymphocytes, and the identification of a specific liver membrane autoantibody. Clear advances are perceptible on each of these fronts.


Hepatitis Primary Biliary Cirrhosis Autoimmune Hepatitis Chronic Active Hepatitis Chronic Active Liver Disease 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© The Japanese Society of Gaslroenterology 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ian R. Mackay
    • 1
  1. 1.Centre for Molecular Biology and MedicineMonash UniversityClaytonAustralia

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