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The Korean Journal of Pathology 1998;32(2): 115-124.
Clinicopathologic Comparison between Autoimmune Cholangitis and Primary Biliary Cirrhosis.
Gyeong Hoon Kang, So Dug Lim, Eun Sil Yu, On Ja Kim, Geun Chan Lee, Neung Hwa Park, Dong Jin Suh
1Department of Pathology, Asan Medical Center College of Medicine, Ulsan University, Seoul, Korea.
2Department of Internal Medicine, Asan Medical Center College of Medicine, Ulsan University, Seoul, Korea.
Primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) is characterized by histological findings of an immunoinflammatory destruction of small- and medium-sized bile ducts with progressive portal fibrosis, and the presence of anti-mitochondrial antibody (AMA) with a laboratory evidence of chronic cholestasis. The term "autoimmune cholangitis" (AIC) is used for a disease with the clinical and pathologic features of primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC) but with negative AMA and positive anti-nuclear antibody (ANA) tests. Eight cases of AIC and ten cases of PBC were reviewed in order to determine whether there was any difference between two diseases in clinico-pathologic aspects. All of the patients were female and the mean ages of AIC and PBC patients were 48 and 47 years, respectively. ANA test was positive in six of ten PBC paients and their mean titer was lower than that of AIC patients. IgM level was significantly higher in PBC group than in AIC group. No significant difference was found between two groups with respect to biochemical and histopathological features. Since the only consistently distinguishing features between these two conditions are the autoantibody profile (AMA vs ANA) and immunoglobulin level (IgM), these two conditions might be part of a spectrum. PBC can be considered to be the same as AMA-positive AIC or alternatively AIC to be the same as AMA-negative PBC.
Key Words: Autoimmune cholangitis; Anti-mitochondrial antibody; Anti-nuclear antibody; Primary biliary cirrhosis