The spectrum of liver disease in systemic lupus erythematosus

Neth J Med. 1996 Jun;48(6):244-53. doi: 10.1016/0300-2977(96)00003-4.


Patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) have a 25-50% chance of developing abnormal liver tests in their lifetime. This percentage does not include unconjugated hyperbilirubinaemia due to haemolysis associated with SLE, or elevated aspartate-aminotransferase caused by SLE-associated myositis. The most common cause is drug-induced hepatitis, while mild, predominantly lobular-but sometimes also portal and periportal-hepatitis reflecting SLE activity is another possibility. Other liver disease in SLE can be related to thrombotic events, whether or not associated with the lupus anticoagulant, including Budd-Chiari syndrome and veno-occlusive disease. Other liver abnormalities have been more or less frequently associated with SLE, such as nodular regenerative hyperplasia, perihepatitis, and hepatic or splenic rupture. Also viral hepatitis, obstructive jaundice, autoimmune hepatitis, primary biliary cirrhosis, granulomatous hepatitis, cryptococcus infection of the liver, chronic hepatitis with IgA or IgD deficiency, porphyria or idiopathic portal hypertension co-existing with SLE have been described.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Liver Diseases / complications*
  • Liver Diseases / etiology
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / complications*
  • Lupus Erythematosus, Systemic / physiopathology