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March 1960

Plasma-Cell Hepatitis, with Special Attention to Steroid Therapy

AMA Am J Dis Child. 1960;99(3):288-314. doi:10.1001/archpedi.1960.02070030290006

In 1956, Bearn, Kunkel, and Slater1 described a syndrome of chronic hepatic disease occurring predominantly in young girls and characterized clinically by amenorrhea, obesity, striae, arthralgia, skin rashes, and evidence of moderate or severe liver damage. Most of his patients showed a marked elevation in serum γ-globulin concentration, and liver biopsy specimens obtained early in the course of the disease revealed infiltration of the periportal areas with an inflammatory cell exudate that was predominantly made up of plasma cells. It is our purpose in this paper to describe our experience in the management, including steroid therapy, of patients who, we believe, fit into the above-mentioned syndrome. We will refer to this syndrome by the name "plasma-cell hepatitis" throughout the remainder of this paper. This name has the advantage of focusing attention on the unique aspect of this disease, that is, the plasma-cell infiltrate in the liver and the related