During the 25th annual meeting of the Asia–Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver (APASL 2016) in Tokyo, we organized and moderated an inaugural satellite symposium on the autoimmune liver diseases, autoimmune hepatitis (AIH) and primary biliary cholangitis (PBC). Following the keynote lecture by John M. Vierling (USA), speakers from the Asia–Pacific region provided an up-to-date perspective on the epidemiology, clinical practice and research in AIH and PBC in the Asia–Pacific region. Although epidemiology and clinical features of AIH seem to be similar in East Asia compared to those in western countries, the majority of patients with AIH are detected at an advanced stage and have higher mortality rates in South Asia, indicating an unmet need for earlier diagnosis and the initiation of appropriate immunosuppressive treatment. PBC is more commonly seen in Australia and East Asia. As of 2016, clinical practice guidelines (CPG) for PBC have been published in Japan and China. Ursodeoxycholic acid (UDCA) is recommended as a first-line therapy by both CPG. Nevertheless, one of the unmet therapeutic needs in PBC is the treatment of patients refractory to or intolerant of UDCA. It is of interest that the prevalence of chronic hepatitis B (CHB) in PBC patients was low in Taiwan and mainland China where the prevalence of CHB is very high. In this review, we overview this exciting and epoch-making symposium.
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