The liver can be affected as a result of the lupus itself, or by
the medications used to treat inflammation in lupus.
Jaundice can be found in 1-4% of lupus patients
. It can be as a result of autoimmune hemolytic anaemia, cirrhosis,
viral hepatitis, or obstruction of the bile duct.
Hepatomegaly (enlargement of the liver) can be found in about 10%
of lupus patients.
Causes are cirrhosis, lupoid hepatitis, or congestive heart failure.
Abnormal liver function tests can be found in 30-60% of patients
Nearly all NSAIDs can elevate blood enzymes, active lupus can also
elevate the enzymes.
If the NSAIDs are stopped for a couple of weeks & the enzymes
are still elevated, the cause could be active lupus, infection,
hepatitis or biliary disease.
Lupus hepatitis or autoimmune hepatitis, as it is also known, can
be treated with steroids and azathioprine, although a liver transplant
may be necessary.