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Jornal de Pediatria
On-line version ISSN 1678-4782
FERREIRA, Alexandre Rodrigues et al. Type 1 autoimmune hepatitis in children and adolescents: assessment of immunosuppressive treatment withdrawal. J. Pediatr. (Rio J.) [online]. 2005, vol.81, n.4, pp. 343-348. ISSN 1678-4782. http://dx.doi.org/10.1590/S0021-75572005000500014.
OBJECTIVE: To assess treatment withdrawal in children and adolescents with autoimmune hepatitis, with clinical and laboratory remission for a minimum period of 24 months, determining the relapse rate after treatment withdrawal. METHOD: This is a descriptive, retrospective and partially prospective study of 21 children and adolescents with type 1 autoimmune hepatitis treated at the Outpatient Division of Pediatric Hepatology, Teaching Hospital of Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG), Belo Horizonte, Brazil, between January 1986 and December 2001. RESULTS: We assessed 54 patients and selected 21, of whom 19 were female subjects (90.5%), aged between 5.7 and 17.6 years (median = 13.8 years), with a mean follow-up of 5.1±2.4 years (median = 4.4 years) and an average clinical and laboratory remission of 4.1±1.5 years (median = 4.1 years). Out of the 21 patients studied, 10 (47.6%) manifested some inflammatory activity that prevented the discontinuation of treatment, which was withdrawn in 11 patients (52.4%). Out of these, six patients (54.5%) presented reactivation of the disease and five maintained clinical and laboratory remission with a mean follow-up of 4±1 years (median = 3.9 years). The time interval between discontinuation of treatment and reactivation of the disease ranged from 29 days to 40.3 months (median = 2.2 months). CONCLUSIONS: We observed a high relapse rate (54.5%) in this group of patients with autoimmune hepatitis, which was more frequent within the first 12 months after treatment withdrawal, in addition to a high number of patients that presented some degree of inflammatory activity despite the long period of clinical and laboratory remission.
Keywords : Autoimmune hepatitis; immunosuppressive treatment; children; adolescents.