Autoimmune/Genetic Liver Diseases
Alagille syndrome is a genetic condition that results in various symptoms in different parts of the body, including the liver. A person with Alagille syndrome has fewer than the normal number of small bile ducts inside the liver. The decreased number of bile ducts causes bile to build up in the liver, a condition also called cholestasis, leading to liver damage and liver disease.
Autoimmune hepatitis is a chronic, or long-lasting, disease in which the body's immune system attacks the normal cells of the liver and causes inflammation and liver damage. Autoimmune hepatitis can lead to cirrhosis and liver failure if it is not treated.
Hemochromatosis is a condition in which there is an overload of iron in the body. Iron is an important part of hemoglobin, a molecule in red blood cells that transports oxygen from the lungs to the rest of the body. Too much iron in the blood, however, can damage the liver and other organs. Hereditary hemochromatosis, also called primary hemochromatosis, is caused by an inherited gene defect.
Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (PBC)
PBC is a chronic autoimmune disease in which the immune system attacks the small bile ducts in the liver. Bile then builds up in the liver and causes liver damage.
Wilson disease is a genetic disease that prevents the body from removing extra copper. The body needs a small amount of copper from food to stay healthy, but too much copper is poisonous. Normally, the liver filters extra copper and releases it into bile. In Wilson disease, the liver does not filter copper correctly, causing copper to build up in the liver, brain, eyes, and other organs. Over time, high copper levels can cause life-threatening organ damage.