Background Bone loss in autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) is scanty and conflicting. The pathogenic mechanisms are not completely elucidated.
Objectives This study aimed to assess the prevalence and risk factors for bone loss in patients with AIH.
Methods Bone mineral density (BMD) using X-ray absorptiometry at both lumbar spine and femoral neck sites was measured in patients with AIH. Were excluded patients with diseases disturbing the bone density. Osteopenia was considered if T-score <-1.5 DS and osteoporosis if T-score <-2.5 DS.
Results Twenty eight patients were enrolled in the study. They were 19 women (sex-ration M/F=0.6), with a mean age of 54 years [extremes: 13 - 73 years]. Most patients had type 1 AIH (89.2%). Seventeen patients were diagnosed at stage of cirrhosis (60.7%). Associated auto-immune manifestations were observed in 42.8% of cases. Overlap syndrome with primary biliary cirrhosis was noted in 21.4% of cases. Fifty five percent of patients were on steroid treatment with or without azathioprine. BMD was low in 9 patients (32%) as fellow: osteopenia in 6 cases and osteoporosis in 3 cases. There was a correlation between bone loss and use of steroid treatment but it wasn't statistically significant (p=0.07).
Conclusions In our series, the prevalence of bone loss in AIH is high (45%). This data suggests that bone status should be assessed routinely in patients with AIH, especially in those on steroid treatment.
Disclosure of Interest None declared