Liver Diseases

Autoimmune Liver Diseases

Mount Sinai Health System has more liver specialists (hepatologists) on staff than any other health system in New York City, making us your go-to provider for liver health. Our hepatologists are known worldwide for conducting innovative research and providing state-of-the-art treatment for all forms of liver disease, including autoimmune liver diseases.

Over many decades, researchers at Mount Sinai have produced groundbreaking results that have added to the understanding of autoimmune liver diseases, such as:

  • Autoimmune hepatitis causes your body's immune system to attack the liver, leading to inflammation and liver damage.
  • Primary biliary cirrhosis, also known as primary biliary cholangitis (PBC), causes your bile ducts to become inflamed and collapse, damaging the liver and leading to cirrhosis.
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is a disease of the liver and gallbladder that scars the bile ducts and blocks bile drainage.

Autoimmune liver diseases are uncommon, and their causes remain poorly defined. In addition, treatment options for each disease are limited, and they may have significant side effects. These diseases often lead to cirrhosis (severe scarring) and may require liver transplantation.

About Autoimmune Liver Disease

Autoimmune liver diseases are typically long-lasting and recurring (chronic) conditions. This means that you may experience persistent immune system attacks that destroy liver cells. As cells die, scar tissue known as fibrosis forms. Autoimmune diseases tend to progress slowly, and you may have long periods without symptoms. When scarring (fibrosis) becomes extreme, liver function weakens and eventually may result in a condition known as cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is also known as liver failure or end-stage liver disease. The only cure for this condition is organ transplantation. While the only cure for severe cirrhosis is transplantation, we can help you manage the symptoms of the disease with medication before or instead of transplantation.

Our liver specialists work closely with other experts at Mount Sinai to provide a comprehensive approach to treating you if you have multiple autoimmune conditions. Our goal is to keep your immune system active and related symptoms under control.

Mount Sinai liver specialists work with colleagues in rheumatology, endocrinology, gastroenterology, radiology, and pathology to manage autoimmune liver disease. We use state-of-the-art methods of diagnosis and treatment.

If end-stage liver disease develops and you need liver transplantation, we have the expertise to help you. We have extensive experience treating patients with autoimmune liver disease. After living with chronic liver disease, through treatment, we can help restore your quality of life.

Researching Autoimmune Liver Disease

The focus of our research at Mount Sinai has been to identify ways to slow the progression of autoimmune liver diseases. We evaluate the genetic and environmental influences of liver disease. We also research treatments with minimal side effects. Our studies have led to several clinical trials and global collaborations.

Our research team’s dedication means you have access to comprehensive, groundbreaking care. We have made strides in diagnosis to post-transplantation care. Our team also supports patient-directed self-help groups for those with autoimmune diseases.

Support Groups

If you are living with an autoimmune disease that is affecting or threatening to affect your liver, you are not alone. We encourage you to request information from these groups:

You can find additional information and support from these groups: