Background/aims: Autoimmune Hepatitis (AIH) is a liver disease which may lead to liver cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is a well-known risk factor for hepatocellular cancer. Lymphoma is a disease, where immune modulating drugs as well as the autoimmune disease itself may contribute to the elevated risk. The aim was to investigate the risks of malignancies in a large cohort of AIH patients.
Methods: Four hundred and seventy-three patients with AIH were matched to the Swedish national cancer register as well as to the death cause register.
Results: We found an overall higher risk of malignancies in the cohort of AIH patients from the date of diagnosis with a SIR of 1.51 (95% CI 1.10-2.03). SIR in the subpopulation of well defined catchment areas and complete case finding was 23.28 (95% CI 7.5-54.34) for HCC. Lymphomas were found a SIR of 13.09 (95% CI 4.22-30.56).
Conclusions: There was an overall increased risk of malignancies in a cohort of AIH patients, which manly was caused by hepatobiliary cancers. However, the true risk of HCC in an AIH cirrhotic cohort has yet to be investigated. A significantly higher risk of lymphomas was also found, but no clear cut association to the use of immune modulators.