Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2021 Mar 26:1-14. doi: 10.1080/14656566.2021.1895747. Online ahead of print.
Introduction: Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is an immune mediated, inflammatory disease affecting the liver as a result of environmental triggers in susceptible individuals leading to loss of self-tolerance. The immunopathogenesis of AIH is not fully understood, which limits targeted therapeutic options.Areas covered: In this review, the authors provide an overview of current practice in the management of AIH, which include induction therapy with corticosteroids (± thiopurines), followed by maintenance therapy. Lack of early response to treatment may serve as a predictor of those at risk of requiring treatment escalation to second- and third-line agents such as mycophenolate mofetil (MMF), calcineurin inhibitors or biologics. Evidence for third-line agents from small retrospective studies or individual centers are reviewed. The nuances of AIH treatment in pregnancy, overlap syndromes, and drug induced liver injury (DILI) warrant further consideration.Expert opinion: Augmenting the balance of regulatory T cells (Treg) and effector T cells is an appealing therapeutic target with a multitude of agents in development. Many of the challenges in AIH research are due to its rarity and lack of randomized data. Management of AIH should strive towards individualized care through risk stratification and use of the best therapeutic modality for each patient.