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Autoimmune Chronic Hepatitis Exacerbated by Alpha-Interferon

Thomas Papo, MD; Patrick Marcellin, MD; Jacques Bernuau, MD; François Durand, MD; Thierry Poynard, MD; and Jean-Pierre Benhamou, MD
[+] Article, Author, and Disclosure Information

Requests for Reprints: Jean-Pierre Benhamou, MD. Service d'Hépatologie, Hôpital Beaujon, 92118 Clichy, France.

Current Author Addresses: Drs. Papo, Marcellin, Bernuau, Durand, and Benhamou: Hôpital Beaujon, 92118 Clichy, France.

Dr. Poynard: Hôpital Antoine Béclère, 157 rue de la Porte-des-Trivaux, 92140 Clamart, France.

Ann Intern Med. 1992;116(1):51-53. doi:10.7326/0003-4819-116-1-51
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This excerpt has been provided in the absence of an abstract.

Alpha-interferon is known to reduce viral replication, to normalize aminotransferase levels, and to reduce hepatic lesions in 40% of patients with chronic hepatitis caused by hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection (1). Alpha-interferon is also known to induce exacerbation of various autoimmune disorders (2). We describe three patients with type-1 autoimmune chronic hepatitis, erroneously diagnosed as chronic hepatitis C, in whom alpha-interferon administration resulted in aggravation of liver disease.

Case Reports:

Case 1: A 20-year-old man complained of nausea and fatigue in February 1988. The alanine aminotransferase (ALT) level was 26.6 μkat/L (normal, 0 to 0.58 μkat/L). The bilirubin level was


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