Primary biliary cirrhosis induced by interferon-α therapy for hepatitis C virus infection

Emilio D'Amico, Marino Paroli, Vincenzina Fratelli, Carlo Palazzi, Vincenzo Barnaba, Francesco Callea, Giuseppe Consoli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Interferon-α is known to exacerbate and in some cases induce a variety of autoimmune disorders. In this report we describe the onset of primary biliary cirrhosis in a 55-year-old woman without evidence of preexisting autoimmune diseases receiving recombinant interferon-α2a for chronic active hepatitis C. Shortly after discontinuating interferon therapy, alkaline phosphatase levels started to rise up to three times the normal range. Anti-mithocondrial antibodies were found to be positive at a high titer, and liver biopsy showed a picture of chronic active hepatitis along with primary biliary cirrhosis features (overlap syndrome). Primary biliary cirrhosis should be considered in the differential diagnosis in any patient treated with interferon-α with unexplained elevation of serum alkaline phosphatase.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2113-2116
Number of pages4
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1995


  • chronic active hepatitis
  • hepatitis C virus
  • interferon-α
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gastroenterology


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