Forty-two patients with autoimmune liver disease have been investigated. Renal tubular acidosis was detected in 60% of the patients with primary biliary cirrhosis, in 30% with active chronic hepatitis, and in one out of seven cases with cryptogenic cirrhosis. The presence of the defect of renal acidification was not related to the level of plasma potassium, copper, or total globulin, nor to the pattern of immunological abnormalities detected in the serum. It is suggested that autoimmune liver disease and renal tubular acidosis may be part of a systemic disorder in the pathogenesis of which immunological mechanisms are involved.
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