Autoantibodies in Autoimmune Liver Diseases-Methods of Detection and Interpretation: An Update for the Reporting Pathologist

Int J Surg Pathol. 2016 Oct;24(7):576-85. doi: 10.1177/1066896916657643. Epub 2016 Jul 7.


Autoimmune liver disease (AILD) is a type of chronic liver disease with autoimmune etiology. The diagnosis of the disease is multipronged and detection of autoantibodies in AILDs is an important diagnostic tool and it also helps in the classification of the disease. There are multiple autoantibodies that are detected in AILDs but none is diagnostic. Moreover, these autoantibodies are detected in many other pathological and nonpathological conditions. So the significance of seropositivity for these autoantibodies should be known by both the pathologists as well as the clinicians. In addition, there is prognostic significance associated with some of the antibodies and they also sometimes help in the disease monitoring. The whole array of antibodies detected in AILDs is discussed in detail in this review along with their clinical significance and interpretation.

Keywords: ANA; LKM; SMA; autoantibody.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Autoantibodies / blood
  • Autoantibodies / immunology*
  • Autoantigens / immunology
  • Autoimmune Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Autoimmune Diseases / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Liver Diseases / diagnosis*
  • Liver Diseases / immunology*


  • Autoantibodies
  • Autoantigens