The risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in patients with autoimmune hepatitis is unclear.
Dr Aylin Tansel and colleagues from Texas, USA conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis of the incidence of HCC and associated risk factors among patients with autoimmune hepatitis.
The team searched PubMed, Embase, and reference lists from relevant articles through 2016 to identify cohort studies that examined the incidence of HCC in patients with autoimmune hepatitis.
The research team used random effects models to estimate pooled incidence rates overall and in subgroup of patients with cirrhosis.
The between-study heterogeneity was assessed using I2 statistic.
|The pooled incidence rate for HCC in patients with autoimmune hepatitis was 3 per 1000 patient-years|
|Clinical Gastroenterology & Hepatology|
The team identified a total of 25 studies, including 6528 patients, that met the eligibility criteria.
The median cohort size was 170 patients with autoimmune hepatitis, followed for a median of 8 years.
The research team found that the pooled incidence rate for HCC in patients with autoimmune hepatitis was 3 per 1000 patient-years.
The team noted that the pooled incidence of HCC in patients with cirrhosis at autoimmune hepatitis diagnosis was 10 per 1000 patient-years.
In addition, 92 of 93 patients who had HCC had evidence of cirrhosis before or at the time of their HCC diagnosis.
The researchers found that the risk of HCC seems to be lower in patients with autoimmune hepatitis, and cirrhosis than that reported for patients with cirrhosis from hepatitis B, hepatitis C, or primary biliary cholangitis.
Dr Tansel's team commented, "Based on the increased risked of HCC shown in this meta-analysis, there may be a role for HCC surveillance in patients with autoimmune hepatitis and cirrhosis."