Hepatotoxicity From Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors: A Systematic Review and Management Recommendation

Thoetchai Peeraphatdit, Jennifer Wang, Matthew A. Odenwald, Shaomin Hu, John Hart, Michael R. Charlton

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations


Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs) are monoclonal antibodies targeting immune checkpoint molecules. ICIs are an immunotherapy for the treatment of many advanced malignancies. The advent of ICIs has been a major breakthrough in the field of oncology, a fact recognized by the 2018 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine being awarded for the discovery. The Food and Drug Administration approved the first ICI, ipilimumab, in 2011 for the treatment of metastatic melanoma. Seven ICIs are now used in clinical practice, including nivolumab and pembrolizumab for treatment of advanced hepatocellular carcinoma. ICIs are increasingly used across the spectrum of hepatobiliary neoplasia. The utility of ICI therapy has been limited by immune-related adverse reactions (irAEs) affecting multiple organ systems. Hepatotoxicity is an important irAE, occurring in up to 16% of patients receiving ICIs. Optimizing outcomes in patients receiving ICI therapy requires awareness of and familiarity with diagnosing and management of ICI-induced immune-mediated hepatotoxicity (IMH), including approaches to treatment and ICI dose management. The aim of this review article is to (1) provide a comprehensive, evidence-based review of IMH; (2) perform a systematic review of the management of IMH; and (3) present algorithms for the diagnosis and management of IMH.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)315-329
Number of pages15
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jul 1 2020
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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