Background: First-line treatment for autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) typically includes corticosteroids in combination with azathioprine. Mycophenolate mofetil (MMF) is often used as a rescue therapy in patients who are intolerant of, or nonresponsive to, standard therapy. Aim: To systematically review studies and perform a meta-analysis on the efficacy and safety of MMF as a second-line therapy for AIH patients. Methods: MEDLINE, EMBASE and Cochrane Central were searched for studies that reported data on efficacy and safety of MMF as a second-line therapy in AIH. We calculated the pooled response rate, adverse events rate and discontinuation rate due to side effects, with their corresponding 95% confidence intervals. Results: Twelve studies comprising 397 patients, followed for a median of 34 months (range, 12-47 months), were included. MMF doses ranged from 0.5-4.0 g/d. Pooled response rate was 0.58 (95% CI 0.54-0.63). Pooled adverse events rate was 0.14 (95% CI 0.11-0.17), and pooled discontinuation rate due to side effects was 0.08 (95% CI 0.06-0.11). Five studies (n = 309) specified response rates according to reason for using MMF. Pooled response rate in the subgroup with intolerance to standard therapy was 0.82 (95% CI 0.77-0.87) and pooled response rate among nonresponders was 0.32 (95% CI 0.24-0.39). Conclusions: The overall efficacy of MMF as second-line therapy in AIH was high. Response rate was greater in patients who started the medication due to intolerance to standard therapy as opposed to nonresponse. Overall, MMF was well tolerated, with a low discontinuation rate due to side effects.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Pharmacology (medical)