Medical Specialties

Autoimmune Hepatitis in Children | Phoenix Children's Hospital Hepatology

Autoimmune hepatitis, including types I and II, is a condition where a child’s immune system attacks the liver. If diagnosed and treated early, the prognosis for recovery is good.

Symptoms of autoimmune hepatitis include jaundice, itchy skin and fatigue. Sometimes, patients can present with vague symptoms and can present with acute liver failure.

The diagnosis of autoimmune hepatitis usually is based on physical exams and blood tests, and requires a biopsy.

Treatments for Autoimmune hepatitis

Treatment for autoimmune hepatitis typically includes steroids to suppress the immune system and other immunosuppressant medications for maintenance. Usually the steroids are weened over time.

About one out of four children treated for autoimmune hepatitis will eventually be healthy enough to stop treatment, although monitoring the child’s health after treatment ends is critical. For very few children with autoimmune hepatitis, the disease will progress to end-stage liver disease, requiring a liver transplant.

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