BACKGROUND: Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is a rare condition characterized by the presence of autoantibodies distinctive of type 1 AIH (AIH-1) and type 2 AIH (AIH-2). The aim of this study was to evaluate the autoantibody profile in a cohort of pediatric and adult AIH patients, using both indirect immunofluorescence (IIF) and a new multiplexed line-blot assay.
METHODS: Sera from 63 pediatric and 53 adult AIH patients were tested for antinuclear (ANA), antismooth muscle (SMA), anti-liver kidney microsome 1 (anti-LKM1), anti-liver cytosol 1 (anti-LC1) autoantibodies using IIF methods; for anti-LKM1, anti-LC1, and soluble liver antigen/liver-pancreas (anti-SLA/LP) autoantibodies using the line-blot; for anti-F-actin autoantibodies using IIF both on VSM47 cell-line and on rat intestinal epithelial cells.
RESULTS: AIH-1 was the most common type of AIH in the adult cohort (73.6%), while AIH-2 was the most common AIH in the pediatric cohort (61.9%). Both in adult and pediatric AIH-2 anti-LKM1 were the prevalent autoantibodies. In pediatric AIH-2 anti-LC1 autoantibodies were more frequent than in adult AIH-2 (59 vs. 28.6%), and in 35.9% of cases they were present alone. In 17 patients anti-LC1 autoantibodies were detected only with the line-blot assay. The levels of anti-LKM1 and of anti-LC1 were not different between adult and pediatric AIH, and the overall agreement between the results obtained with the two IIF methods for F-actin detection was 98.8% (CI 95%: 94.4-99.7%).
CONCLUSIONS: The line-blot assay showed a higher sensitivity than IIF for anti-LC1 detection. Anti-LKM1 and anti-LC1 autoantibody levels are not different in adults and children. An almost perfect agreement between the two IIF methods for anti-F-actin detection has been observed.
- Cell Line
- Child, Preschool
- Cohort Studies
- Epithelial Cells
- Fluorescent Antibody Technique, Indirect
- Hepatitis, Autoimmune
- Middle Aged
- Young Adult
- Journal Article