Autoimmune Hepatitis: Diagnostic Dilemma When It Is Disguised as Iron Overload Syndrome

Gyanendra K. Acharya, Hung I. Liao, Simona Frunza-Stefan, Ronakkumar Patel, Moe Khaing

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Elevated serum ferritin level is a common finding in iron overload syndrome, autoimmune and viral hepatitis, alcoholic and nonalcoholic fatty liver diseases. High transferrin saturation is not a common finding in above diseases except for iron overload syndrome. We encountered a challenging case of 73-year-old female who presented with yellowish discoloration of skin, dark color urine and dull abdominal pain. Initial laboratory tests reported mild anemia; elevated bilirubin, liver enzymes, and transferrin saturation. We came to the final diagnosis of autoimmune hepatitis after extensive workups. Autoimmune hepatitis is a rare disease, and the diagnosis can be further complicated by a similar presentation of iron overload syndrome. Markedly elevated transferrin saturation can simulate iron overload syndrome, but a liver biopsy can guide physicians to navigate the diagnosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)269-273
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Clinical and Experimental Hepatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Autoimmune disease
  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • Diagnostic dilemma
  • Iron overload syndrome
  • Transferrin saturation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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