Idiosyncratic drug-induced liver injury (DILI) and hepatic injury due to herbal and dietary supplements (HDS) can adapt clinical characteristics of autoimmune hepatitis (AIH), such as the appearance of autoantibodies and infiltration of the liver by immune competent cells. To describe these cases of DILI/HDS, the poorly-defined term “autoimmune(-like)” DILI/HDS came up. It is uncertain if these cases represent a subgroup of DILI/HDS with distinct pathomechanistic and prognostic features different from “classical” DILI/HDS. Besides, due to the overlap of clinical characteristics of “immune-mediated” DILI/HDS and AIH, both entities are not easy to differentiate. However, the demarcation is important, especially with regard to treatment: AIH requires long-term, mostly lifelong immunosuppression, whereas DILI/HDS does not. Only through exact diagnostic evaluation, exclusion of differential diagnoses and prolonged follow-up can the correct diagnosis reliably be made. Molecular mechanisms have not been analysed for the subgroup of “autoimmune(-like)” DILI/HDS yet. However, several pathogenetic checkpoints of DILI/HDS in general and AIH are shared. An analysis of these shared mechanisms might hint at relevant molecular processes of “autoimmune(-like)” DILI/HDS.
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