Advancements in Pediatric Autoimmune Hepatitis By Dr. Mercedes Martinez

Dr. Mercedes Martinez, a pediatric transplant specialist, shared her wishlist for advancements in managing pediatric autoimmune hepatitis during an interview at the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) 2023 Annual Meeting. She highlighted the challenges faced by researchers and clinicians in this field, including limited funding and awareness, as autoimmune hepatitis is a rare disease. Martinez mentioned the limited success of repurposing medications and the lack of novel treatments specifically targeting the pathology of the disease.

In addition to drug development, Martinez emphasized the need for more specific tools to diagnose autoimmune hepatitis, as there are cases where patients are treated for the condition for years only to discover they have other conditions. She also expressed interest in the development of biomarkers derived from less invasive means, such as blood assays, to aid in diagnosis and inform the understanding of the disease’s pathophysiology. Overall, there is a need for advancements in the management, diagnosis, and understanding of pediatric autoimmune hepatitis.

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