Selzner, Nazia Multi-Organ Transplant Program, University Health Network, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
Levy, Gary A. Multi-Organ Transplant Program, University Health Network, and Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology, Toronto General Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.
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A medical condition that is characterized by the presence of inflammatory cells within the liver and liver cell death. Hepatitis can be caused by viruses, including hepatitis A virus (HAV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), and hepatitis C virus (HCV). In children and patients with disturbances of immune function, cytomegalovirus (CMV) can cause acute hepatitis. Other causes of hepatitis include genetic abnormalities affecting iron and copper metabolism (hemochromatosis and Wilson's disease), drugs, immune-mediated liver disease, disturbances in blood flow leading to ischemia, and consequences of disturbances of metabolic function (nonalcohol fatty liver disease) [see table]. Hepatitis is classified as acute when it lasts less than 6 months and chronic when it persists for longer than 6 months. Hepatitis may occur with the absence of symptoms or can be associated with general malaise, fever, right upper-quadrant abdominal pain, yellowish discoloration of the skin (jaundice), and weight loss. See also: Cytomegalovirus infection; Jaundice; Liver; Liver disorders; Metabolic disorders; Virus
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