Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology

Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology / 2010 / Article

Review | Open Access

Volume 24 |Article ID 431913 | 7 pages | https://doi.org/10.1155/2010/431913

Autoantibodies and Liver Disease: Uses and Abuses

Received10 Apr 2009
Accepted14 Apr 2009

Abstract

Confirming whether a patient has autoimmune liver disease is challenging, given its varied presentation and complex definitions. In the continued absence of pathognomonic serum markers, diagnosis requires evaluation of laboratory investigations and, frequently, a liver biopsy – all of which need to be interpreted in the correct clinical context, with an emphasis on exclusion of viral infections, drug toxicity and metabolic disease. However, clear diagnosis is important for appropriate and timely therapy. Autoantibodies remain important tools for clinicians, and were the first proposed serological markers to aid in differentiating viral from chronic autoimmune hepatitis. Their presence is occasionally considered to be synonymous with autoimmune liver disease – a misinterpretation of their clinical significance. The present article summarizes the serum autoantibodies currently investigated in clinical and research practice, along with a description of their value in adult chronic liver diseases, with an emphasis on their appropriate use in the diagnosis and management of patients with autoimmune liver disease.

Copyright © 2010 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


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