gtag('event', 'click', { 'event_category': 'PDF Download' });
was successfully added to your cart.


Autoimmune Liver DiseaseHealth Professionals BlogUncategorized

Biliary disease progression in childhood onset autoimmune liver disease: a 30-year follow-up into adulthood

Title: Biliary disease progression in childhood onset autoimmune liver disease: a 30-year follow-up into adulthood

Source: JHEP Reports 2023, 6 (2): 100901

Follow this link

Date of publication: February 2024

Publication type: Article

Abstract: Background & aims: Long-term follow-up studies of paediatric onset autoimmune liver disease (AILD) are invaluable in helping better understand the clinical course of disease. In day-to-day practice clinicians struggle with disease definitions whilst patients and parents lack clear prognostic information.

Methods: The clinical progression of 159 patients with childhood onset AILD between June 1990 and December 2013 was reviewed, capturing data up to adulthood (ending May 2021).

Results: Presentation with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) was dominant (n = 119); biliary presentations accounted for 25%. During follow up, biliary disease progression confirmed by cholangiography and/or liver histology was observed frequently: 19.8% (20/101) patients with childhood onset AIH type 1 (AIH-1) developed biliary features by adulthood and of these 50% phenotypically transitioned to primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC); the remaining transitioned to an overlap disease phenotype. No patients with AIH type 2 developed biliary progression. Two-thirds of patients with overlap features (14/21) in childhood had phenotypically progressed to PSC by adulthood. Approximately 43% (6/14) of AIH-1 patients requiring a liver transplant in adulthood had explant evidence of biliary disease compared with 11% (1/9) in childhood, whereas 35.7% (5/14) of patients had histology diagnostic of PSC in their explant liver and 7.1% (1/14) had overlap features. All patients with biliary phenotypes (PSC, autoimmune sclerosing cholangitis, overlap) who required a transplant (n = 18) were found to have explant histology consistent with PSC. Twelve of 14 patients with biliary progression developed ulcerative colitis during follow-up with 92% progressing to PSC.

Conclusions: Three decades of follow-up demonstrated how children presenting with AILD had a significant risk of clinical transformation to PSC. Biliary progression was significantly associated with the development of inflammatory bowel disease.

Impact and implications: Childhood onset autoimmune liver disease remains very impactful for patients and families. Disease nomenclature can however be confusing. Long-term follow up studies as children become adults is important to help understand how and why disease behaves over time. Understanding more about the long-term course of childhood autoimmune liver disease will help patients, families and doctors striving to improve care and reduce poor clinical outcomes. We followed over 150 patients with childhood onset autoimmune liver diseases into adulthood. We found that amongst patients with classical autoimmune hepatitis, 1 in 5 developed biliary disease over time, mostly consisting of primary sclerosing cholangitis. This was associated with developing inflammatory bowel disease. Our study design was retrospective and has relevant limitations. Defining phenotypes of autoimmune liver diseases is difficult and there is insufficient consensus, especially between adult and childhood physicians. Our data confirms the critical importance of careful long-term follow-up of patients, including safe transition to adult care, as well as robustly demonstrates, using real-world data, how disease nature can change over time. Our study affirms the need for investment in prospective cohort studies.

Leave a Reply

© 2019 Children's Liver Disease Foundation. All Rights Reserved.