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Recurrence of autoimmune liver diseases after liver transplantation.

Liver transplantation (LT) is the most effective treatment modality for end stage liver disease caused by many etiologies including autoimmune processes. That said, the need for transplantation for autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) and primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), but not for primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), has decreased over the years due to the availability of effective medical treatment. Autoimmune liver diseases have superior transplant outcomes than those of other etiologies. While AIH and PBC can recur after LT, recurrence is of limited clinical significance in most, but not all cases. Recurrent PSC, however, often progresses over years to a stage requiring re-transplantation. The exact incidence and the predisposing factors of disease recurrence remain debated. Better understanding of the pathogenesis and the risk factors of recurrent autoimmune liver diseases is required to develop preventive measures. In this review, we discuss the current knowledge of incidence, diagnosis, risk factors, clinical course, and treatment of recurrent autoimmune liver disease (AIH, PBC, PSC) following LT.

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