Background: Data on rescue treatment of autoimmune hepatitis in patients that fail standard treatment are sparse.
Aims: To report our long-term experience with mycophenolate mofetil.
Methods: Retrospective study in 22 patients with autoimmune hepatitis who failed azathioprine and prednisolone due to adverse events (n = 14, 64%), lack of remission (n = 5, 23%) or a combination (n = 3, 13%).
Results: Mycophenolate mofetil was started at a dose of 20 mg/kg/day and increased to a maximum of 3 g/day. Follow-up was 0-6 months in 7 patients; more than 12 months in 15 (68%) and more than 24 months in 10. Normal aminotransferase levels were obtained (n = 3) or maintained (n = 7) in 10 patients (45%) after three to 30 weeks. 12 patients (55%) were withdrawn during the first 6 months, due to adverse events. Three patients were switched to cyclosporine and one underwent liver transplantation. Successful treatment with mycophenolate mofetil continued in 10 patients (45%) for a median of 71 months (range 20-124). Of these, one stopped prednisolone, five have a prednisolone dose <5 mg daily and four patients 5-10 mg.
Conclusion: Approximately one of two patients with autoimmune hepatitis that fail standard treatment benefit from long-term maintenance with mycophenolate mofetil, especially those with previous intolerance to thiopurines, where mycophenolate mofetil is effective in two thirds.
Keywords: Autoimmune hepatitis; Mycophenolate mofetil; Thiopurine failure.
Copyright © 2018 Editrice Gastroenterologica Italiana S.r.l. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.