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Re: Liver Biopsy w/Autoimmune Hepatitis/How often should it be done?
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Re: Liver Biopsy w/Autoimmune Hepatitis/How often should it be done?

Posted By Patrice on June 14, 1999 at 22:44:09
Hi Doctor,
I am 33yrs old I have 3young children.  I was diagnosed with automimmune hepatitis with "early cirrhosis" in October,1991.  I have since been on prednisone.  But I havent had a liver biopsy since.  I deal with a lot of side effects, such as bruising, extreme nausea, diarrhea, mild itching, severe fatigue etc.  I was just diagnosed with osteoporosis of the spine and right hip.
But its going on eight years now and every story that Ive read about has had a repeated biopsy within a couple of years.  I cannot figure out why my doctor has not requested another biopsy to be performed to see what stage the cirrhosis is in now.  I really want to know.  I feel so blind about my disease.  I have been diagnosed with gallstones, and bacteria in my stomach or g.i. tract which I had to take a load of antibiotics twice a day.  I think that if I wasnt suffering from so many side effects it wouldnt make too much difference to me to have another biopsy, but because I am, and a lot of doctors have never heard of autoimmune hepatitis. Lately Ive been very lightheaded also.  Please send any info.  Thanks a bunch.




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Posted By Lisa on June 21, 1999 at 16:46:34
Hi Patrice,
I am also a 30 year old mother of three littles ones and am currently being considered as having autoimmune hepatitis.  A few months back after having my gallbladder removed for stones, I had some follow-up bloodwork done to check the levels of my liver enzymes.  All of the enzyme readings came back mildly, but significantly high, so I was sent for Hep A,B,C screens as well as a battery of other tests.  Everything came back normal except for a weak positive ASMA.  My specialist said that I might now be a candidate for autoimmune hepatitis, so I just had a liver biopsy done last week.  I am still waiting for the results.  I was just wondering though, when you were diagnosed many years ago, did you have any symptoms at that time?  Currently I have no sysmptons that fit the description of autoimmune hepatitis.
In regards to your question about having another biopsy, I would think that it is time to have another one done.  My biopsy procedure went really well with minimal pain and I was back on my feet the next day.  The only rotten thing about it is that I can't lift my kids for the next 2-4 weeks which is pretty hard since one of them is only 9 months old.
Take care,
Lisa





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Posted By Patrice on June 23, 1999 at 21:15:33
Hi Lisa! Its good to finally hear from someone.  I was only 26yrs old when I was diagnosed.  My liver enzymes were in the 1000 range.  I had every symptom there was.  I was very jaundice. The gums of my teeth, my tongue, the palms of my hand, everything was yellow.  My urine was a reddish orange color.  My stool was a very pale cream color.  I was always itching, my nose bled it was awful.  I was very, very weak.  I went to two different g.i. doctor, and they both told me, that it was nothing and not to worry it would pass. They said they could not find anything wrong, even with my syptoms (symptoms) and the level of my liver enzymes.  So I basically gave up.  I got a job at a hospital and my supervisor referred me to another g.i.  He immediately ordered a liver biopsy, and here I am now.  I just went to him this past Tuesday, and he said that another biopsy isnt necessary.  He said that even if the cirrhosis has progress there is nothing he can do.  I dont know about that.  I dont know what to do.  My levels are normal, but I worry about the progression of the cirrhosis.  Please let me know what happens when you get your results, ok.  Hope to hear from you soon.




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Posted By Lisa on June 24, 1999 at 11:12:55
Hi Patrice,
I'm so sorry to hear the ordeal you went through when you were first diagnosed.  I can't believe that they told you nothing was wrong, especially with enzyme levels that high and all of your other symptoms.  I still think that a biopsy should be done on you to track the progression of your disease, however it should be comforting to know that your bloodwork is normal.  Perhaps that is the reason your doctor is holding back.  Is there not a chance that your disease could have went into remission, especially with your bloodwork coming back normal?
As for me, I am no further ahead.  My biopsy results came back yesterday showing absolutely nothing!  There was no sign of inflammation or any other type of liver disease.  My doctor is so puzzled because I keep getting these persistently elevated liver enzymes.  For now, she has suggested that I wait for six months and continue to have my enzymes checked on a monthly basis.  After this period of time has passed she will then make a decision to have an E.R.C.P. done.  (I guess they would be looking for stones or tumours in the bile ducts, even though my ultrasound is normal)  Although I am relieved that my results were negative, the biopsy told me nothing and I still don't know why my elevations exist.
Have you considered getting a second opinion from another G.I.  I live in Canada and it is quite easy to get another referral if you are not happy, however our waiting times are about 4-8 months.
Take Care,
Lisa











Follow Ups:


Liver Biopsy w/Autoimmune Hepatitis/How often should it be done? Patrice 6/25/1999
(3)

Re: Liver Biopsy w/Autoimmune Hepatitis/How often should it be done? Nellie 6/25/1999
(2)

Liver Biopsy w/Autoimmune Hepatitis/How often should it be done? Ellen 6/26/1999
(1)

Re: Liver Biopsy w/Autoimmune Hepatitis/How often should it be done? Nellie 6/29/1999
(0)









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