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Open Access Research

Regression of fibrosis in paediatric autoimmune hepatitis: morphometric assessment of fibrosis versus semiquantiatative methods

Ahmed F Abdalla1*, Khaled R Zalata2, Abeer F Ismail1, Gamal Shiha3, Mohamed Attiya3 and Ahmed Abo-Alyazeed4

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Paediatrics, Hepatology & Gastroenterology Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt

2 Department of Pathology, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt

3 Department of Internal Medicine, Hepatology & Gastroenterology Unit, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt

4 Department of Public Health, Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University, Mansoura, Egypt

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Fibrogenesis & Tissue Repair 2009, 2:2  doi:10.1186/1755-1536-2-2

Published: 2 April 2009

Abstract

Background

Regression of hepatic fibrosis in patients with autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) has been described in response to immunosuppressive therapy. These studies, however, besides being few in number, were conducted on adult populations. Our aim was to assess the regression of hepatic fibrosis, using morphometric assessment of fibrosis versus semi-quantitative methods, in children with AIH who achieved clinical and biochemical remission. Thirteen patients who achieved clinical and biochemical remission were included in the study, out of 62 children with AIH. Repeat biopsy was performed after 6 to 12 months of clinical and biochemical remission. Morphometric assessment of fibrosis was performed and correlated with METAVIR and Ishak semi-quantitative scores.

Results

The study group included eight male and five female patients. The median age at presentation was 4 years (range 2 to 12 years). The mean duration of treatment was 22 ± 7.3 months, and the mean interval between biopsies was 26.2 ± 6.5 months. Following therapy, there was significant reduction in aspartate aminotransferase, ALT and IgG levels as well as improvement of necroinflammation. The mean fibrosis scores were significantly decreased from 4.5 ± 1.19 and 2.9 ± 0.7 before therapy to 2.7 ± 1.16 and 2 ± 0.8 after treatment as assessed by Ishak and METAVIR scores, respectively (P = 0.001 and 0.004). The mean morphometric assessment of fibrosis before treatment was 20% ± 9.7 and following therapy it decreased to 5.6% ± 3.9 (P = 0.000).

Conclusion

Significant regression of fibrosis in paediatric AIH could occur with current therapeutic regimens. Morphometric assessment of fibrosis is more sensitive than semi-quantitative methods to identify changes in fibrosis.