The epidemiology of pediatric autoimmune hepatitis in Scotland: a national cohort study

Harry Sutton, Paul Henderson, Iain Chalmers, Jenny Cowieson, Karen Fraser, Rachel Taylor, Richard Hansen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

Objectives: Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is a rare, but potentially severe, cause of liver disease in children. We aimed to summarise how children with AIH in Scotland presented, were investigated and managed in addition to producing novel epidemiological data and outcomes.
Methods: All prevalent paediatric patients with AIH cared for in paediatric services between January 2013 and September 2018 were included. Individual patient data was obtained from electronic patient records in the three-main academic paediatric centres in Scotland covering the entire population.
Results: 38 patients were included (25 female) with median follow-up of 33 months (range 2 -145 months) and 136 total patient years. The incidence between 2014-2017 was 0.49/100,000/yr (95%CI 0.29-0.78) and point prevalence between 2013-2018 was 1.75/100,000 (95%CI 1.42-2.13). 35 (92%) patients were autoantibody positive, most commonly anti-nuclear antibody (63%) and anti-smooth muscle antibody (42%). 37 (97%) patients had induction therapy with oral corticosteroids, 30 (79%) required maintenance treatment with azathioprine, and 23 (61%) received ursodeoxycholic acid. There were 1.4 disease flares per 10 patient years and 3 patients required liver transplantation with an overall 5-year survival rate without the need for transplantation of 95%.
Conclusion: We calculated a novel incidence and prevalence rate for paediatric AIH in Scotland. Nearly all were invariably treated initially with corticosteroids with most placed-on azathioprine as maintenance therapy. Outcomes were generally favourable with low rates of disease flares and the need for transplantation being rare.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere223
Number of pages5
JournalJPGN Reports
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 29 Jul 2022

Keywords / Materials (for Non-textual outputs)

  • autoimmune hepatitis
  • azathioprine
  • corticosteroids
  • liver transplant
  • prevalence


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