Single topic conference on autoimmune liver disease from the canadian association for the study of the liver

Aldo J. Montano-Loza, Jessica R. Allegretti, Angela Cheung, Maryam Ebadi, David Jones, Nanda Kerkar, Cynthia Levy, Sumera Rizvi, John M. Vierling, Fernando Alvarez, Wayne Bai, Susan Gilmour, Aliya Gulamhusein, Orlee Guttman, Bettina E. Hansen, Sonya Macparland, Andrew Mason, Fernanda Onofrio, Pere Santamaria, Ashley StueckMark Swain, Catherine Vincent, Amanda Ricciuto, Gideon Hirschfield

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Autoimmune liver disease (AILD) spans a spectrum of chronic disorders affecting the liver parenchyma and biliary system. Three main categories of AILD are autoimmune hepatitis (AIH), primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), and primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC). This review condenses the presentation and discussions of the Single Topic Conference (STC) on AILD that was held in Ottawa, Ontario, in November 2019. We cover generalities regarding disease presentation and clinical diagnosis; mechanistic themes; treatment paradigms; clinical trials, including approaches and challenges to new therapies; and looking beyond traditional disease boundaries. Although these diseases are considered autoimmune, the etiology and role of environmental triggers are poorly understood. AILDs are progressive and chronic conditions that affect survival and quality of life. Advances have been made in PBC treatment because second-line treatments are now available (obeticholic acid, bezafibrate); however, a significant proportion still present suboptimal response. AIH treatment has remained unchanged for several decades, and data suggest that fewer than 50% of patients achieve a complete response and as many as 80% develop treatment-related side effects. B-cell depletion therapy to treat AIH is in an early stage of development and has shown promising results. An effective treatment for PSC is urgently needed. Liver transplant remains the best option for patients who develop decompensated cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma within specific criteria, but recurrent AILD might occur. Continued efforts are warranted to develop networks for AILD aimed at assessing geo-epidemiological, clinical, and biochemical differences to capture the new treatment era in Canada.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)401-425
Number of pages25
JournalCanadian Liver Journal
Issue number4
StatePublished - Sep 1 2021


  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • Cirrhosis
  • Overlap syndrome
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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