Mycophenolate mofetil treatment in patients with autoimmune hepatitis failing standard therapy with prednisolone and azathioprine

Georgios Giannakopoulos, Hans Verbaan, Inga Lill Friis-Liby, Per Sangfelt, Nils Nyhlin, Sven Almer, the Swedish Hepatology study group, SweHep

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8 Citations (SciVal)


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levels were obtained (n = 3) or maintained (n = 7) in 10 patients (45%) after three to 30 weeks. 12 patients (55%) were withdrawn during the first 6 months, due to adverse events.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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)253-257
JournalDigestive and Liver Disease
Issue number2
Early online date2018
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Externally publishedYes

Subject classification (UKÄ)

  • Gastroenterology and Hepatology


  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • Mycophenolate mofetil
  • Thiopurine failure


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