Viral Hepatitis Made Simple – Pathology , Clinical features & Classifications


Viral Hepatitis Made Simple – Pathology , Clinical features & Classifications

All Refrences from
Harrisons Principles of Internal Medicine


Viral hepatitis is liver inflammation due to a viral infection. It may present in acute (recent infection, relatively rapid onset) or chronic forms.

The most common causes of viral hepatitis are the five unrelated hepatotropic viruses hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, hepatitis D, and hepatitis E. In addition to the nominal hepatitis viruses, other viruses that can also cause liver inflammation include cytomegalovirus, Epstein–Barr virus, and yellow fever. Up to 1997 there has been also 52 cases of viral hepatitis caused by herpes simplex virus.

There is the opportunity to prevent or treat the most common types. Hepatitis A and hepatitis B can be prevented by vaccination. Effective treatments for hepatitis C are available but expensive.

Signs and symptoms of acute hepatitis appear quickly. They include:

flu-like symptoms
dark urine
pale stool
abdominal pain
loss of appetite
unexplained weight loss
yellow skin and eyes, which may be signs of jaundice
Chronic hepatitis develops slowly, so these signs and symptoms may be too subtle to notice

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