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.
Last reviewed:June 2018
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- Hepatitis, published June 2015:Download PDF Get Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Hepatitis, published June 2014:Download PDF Get Adobe Acrobat Reader
- Signs and symptoms
- Acute hepatitis
- Chronic hepatitis
- Viral hepatitis
- Alcoholic hepatitis
- Drug- and toxin-induced hepatitis
- Autoimmune hepatitis
- Nonalcohol fatty liver disease
- Prognosis and treatment
- Links to Primary Literature
- Additional Readings
A medical condition that is characterized by the presence of inflammatory cells within the liver and liver cell death. Hepatitis is an inflammatory disease of the liver. In most cases, hepatitis is caused by viruses, including hepatitis A virus (HAV; Fig. 1), 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), drug or alcohol abuse, 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; Hepatitis C virus; Inflammation; Jaundice; Liver; Liver disorders; Metabolic disorders; Virus
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