Liver cirrhosis from autoimmune hepatitis in a nigerian woman: A case report
Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is a rare cause of chronic liver disease (CLD). It presents with varied clinical features from acute hepatitis to CLDs like chronic viral hepatitis and alcoholic liver disease, making it difficult to diagnose in the absence of a high index of suspicion and adequate laboratory support. Autoantibody-mediated hepatocyte injury is the major feature of AIH. We present a 44 year old woman with recurrent jaundice, ascites, splenomegaly, coagulopathy, negative chronic viral hepatitis screening, elevated IgG and positive anti-smooth muscle antibody. The patient responded well to immunosuppressive therapy. This report brings to the fore the need for physicians to maintain a high index of suspicion and thoroughly evaluate all CLD cases of seemingly ‘unknown’ etiology for AIH in order to prevent progression to end-stageliver- disease, since the disease is highly amenable to immunosuppressive therapy.
Keywords: Autoimmune hepatitis, Autoimmune liver disease, Chronic liver disease, Nigeria