Aim: Some autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) patients experience relapse during their clinical course, and some risk factors for relapse have been identified previously using a relatively small sample size. The aim of the present study was to identify the risk factors for relapse in recently diagnosed AIH patients using a nationwide survey in Japan. Methods: The nationwide survey performed in Japan in 2018 of AIH patients diagnosed between 2014 and 2017 was re-evaluated. A total of 614 patients who received corticosteroids were enrolled in the present study. Associations between relapse and patients' characteristics at diagnosis were evaluated using logistic regression analysis. Results: Relapse was identified in 143 (23.3%) patients after remission. At the time of diagnosis of the disease, there were significant differences in the γ-glutamyl transpeptidase (γ-GTP) level, prevalence of liver cirrhosis, and degree of liver fibrosis. Multivariable logistic regression analysis showed that γ-GTP elevation and liver cirrhosis were significantly associated with relapse. Conclusion: The γ-GTP level at diagnosis could help identify AIH patients at higher risk of relapse.
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