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Mitochondrial Antibody in Primary Biliary Cirrhosis and Other Diseases

GERALD KLATSKIN, M.D., F.A.C.P.; and FRED S. KANTOR, M.D.
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▸Requests for reprints should be addressed to Gerald Klatskin, M.D., Department of Internal Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, 333 Cedar St., New Haven, Conn. 06510.


New Haven, Connecticut


Ann Intern Med. 1972;77(4):533-541. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-77-4-533
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Mitochondrial antibody was detected in the serum in 84% of 188 patients with primary biliary cirrhosis, 11% of 77 with chronic active hepatitis, 6% of 33 with cryptogenic cirrhosis, and 0.8% of 1328 with other diseases involving liver, biliary tract, or collagen but in none of 332 with acute or chronic viral hepatitis. Primary biliary cirrhosis was readily excluded by liver biopsy findings in antibody-positive patients with other diseases, except chronic active hepatitis. Mitochondrial antibody provides reliable confirmatory evidence of primary biliary cirrhosis when the biopsy findings are consistent. Its hepatic lesions are distinctive but may be difficult to distinguish from those of chronic active hepatitis and cryptogenic cirrhosis, diseases that may be etiologically related in some cases. The hepatitis virus is not implicated as a cause of primary biliary cirrhosis, and the presence of mitochondrial antibody does not necessarily imply that an autoimmune process is involved in its development.

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