Characterisation of a new subgroup of autoimmune chronic active hepatitis by autoantibodies against a soluble liver antigen

Lancet. 1987 Feb 7;1(8528):292-4. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(87)92024-1.


Autoantibodies against a soluble liver antigen (SLA) were detected in 23 patients with HBsAg-negative chronic active hepatitis (CAH) but not in 502 patients with various other hepatic and non-hepatic disorders or 165 healthy blood donors. Anti-SLA-positive serum samples were negative for antinuclear and liver-kidney-microsomal antibodies, markers of two subgroups of autoimmune-type CAH, 6 anti-SLA-positive patients were negative for all autoantibodies sought. Most of the anti-SLA-positive patients were young women (2 men, 21 women; mean age 37 years) with hypergammaglobulinaemia (mean 3.2 g/l, range 1.8-5.3 g/l); 18 of the 23 patients had received immunosuppressive treatment and all responded well. Anti-SLA titres declined during therapy, corresponding to disease activity. Anti-SLA cannot be detected by immunofluorescence. SLA is not organ-specific or species-specific, but the highest concentrations were found in liver and kidney. Anti-SLA autoantibodies characterise a third subgroup of autoimmune-type CAH and will allow a better differentiation of HBsAg-negative CAH which has therapeutic consequences.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Autoantibodies / analysis*
  • Autoantigens / immunology*
  • Female
  • Hepatitis Antibodies / analysis*
  • Hepatitis, Chronic / classification
  • Hepatitis, Chronic / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Hypergammaglobulinemia / complications
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Radioimmunoassay
  • Sex Factors


  • Autoantibodies
  • Autoantigens
  • Hepatitis Antibodies
  • liver antigen LA-1