Difference in clinical presentation, immunology profile and treatment response of type 1 autoimmune hepatitis between United Kingdom and Singapore patients

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


  • Doreen Koay Siew Ching
  • James Hodson
  • Patrick Mcdowell
  • Jake Mann
  • Ravi Gupta
  • Ennaliza Salazar
  • Jing Hieng Ngu


Background Autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is an immune-mediated liver disease of unknown etiology. Increasing incidence of AIH in Asian patients has been reported. However, the phenotypic difference of Asian patients in Europe and Asia has still not been explored. Aim To evaluate the clinical presentation, biochemical and immunological profiles, treatment response and survival outcome of type 1 AIH from two tertiary liver transplant centres (United Kingdom and Singapore). Method Patients who fulfilled the simplified diagnostic scoring criteria of AIH were included in the study. Patients with overlap syndrome were excluded. Results Totals of 40 Asian patients and 159 Caucasian patients from the University Hospital of Birmingham National Health Service Foundation Trust, UK, were compared with 57 Asian patients from Singapore General Hospital, Singapore. Asian patients from Singapore present significantly much later (median 55 vs. 32 years, p < 0.001), had higher MELD (p < 0.001) with lower albumin (p < 0.001) and higher bilirubin (p < 0.001) and lower ASMA positivity (p < 0.001) at diagnosis compared to UK Asian. Jaundice at presentation was much higher in Singapore Asian patients compared to UK Asian (53 vs. 30 %) but cirrhosis at diagnosis was more common in UK patients. Associated autoimmune conditions were less commonly seen in Singapore Asians. Comparing between UK cohorts, Asian patients present at younger age and have higher IgG level compared to Caucasian. Overall, 5-year transplant-free survival in all three cohorts was similar (p = 0.846). Conclusion We demonstrate that AIH patients from Singapore present at older age with jaundice and have a low positivity of SMA. Despite these differences, transplant-free survival is similar in the two groups.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)673–679
JournalHepatology International
Issue number4
Early online date21 Apr 2016
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2016


  • Autoimmune hepatitis, Asian, Caucasian, Ethnicity, Clinical features, Immunology, Survival