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Diagnostic and prognostic scoring systems for autoimmune hepatitis: a review

Journal Volume 84 - 2021
Issue Fasc.3 - Reviews
Author(s) O. Ducazu 1, H. Degroote 1 2, A. Geerts 1 2, A. Hoorens 3, J. Schouten 2 4, H. Van Vlierberghe 1 2, X. Verhelst 1 2
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Full Article
PAGES 487-495
(1) Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium
(2) European Reference Network for Rare Liver Disease (ERN RARE LIVER)
(3) Department of Anatomical Pathology, Ghent University Hospital, Ghent, Belgium
(4) Department of Gastroenterology, AZ Nikolaas, Sint-Niklaas, Belgium

Introduction: Auto-immune hepatitis (AIH) is a rare condition which primarily affects young women. Several diagnostic scoring systems exist based on clinical, biochemical, immunologic and histologic characteristics of AIH. Additionally, prognostic parameters can be identified. The purpose of this literature review is to compare the clinical value, strengths and limitations of these diagnostic and prognostic scoring systems.

Methods: A literature search was performed in two databases and selected based on diagnostic and prognostic criteria. Only studies concerning AIH in adults were included.

Results: The backbone of scoring systems remains the revised AIH criteria published in 1999 and the simplified from 2008. The revised system shows a higher sensitivity, lower specificity and lower diagnostic accuracy compared to the simplified. Limitations to these scoring systems include limited diagnostic accuracy in acute or fulminant liver failure, insufficient inclusion of atypical auto-antibodies and lacking diagnostic power in presence of overlap syndromes. Concerning these overlap syndromes, the Paris criteria show a higher diagnostic accuracy compared to the scoring systems for AIH. Presently, no clinical prognostic scoring systems are available. However, a first system based on response to treatment accurately predicts long-term survival in AIH.

Conclusion: Diagnostic scoring systems are useful in diagnosing AIH and have complementary value. However, they are no substitute for the gold standard of appropriate clinical assessment and are mostly useful in defining cohorts for research purposes. An evolution towards a more dynamic scoring system, using prognostic parameters and the progression of typical features, seems more valuable than the current diagnostic systems.

Keywords: autoimmune hepatitis, diagnosis, scoring system, prognosis.

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
© Acta Gastro-Enterologica Belgica.
PMID 34599574