Lupus Site - a guide for lupus patients and their families



Liver Problems


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 with lupus.
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.




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