Hepatitis (Viral Hepatitis, A, B, C, D, E, G)

  • Medical Author:
    Charles Patrick Davis, MD, PhD

    Dr. Charles "Pat" Davis, MD, PhD, is a board certified Emergency Medicine doctor who currently practices as a consultant and staff member for hospitals. He has a PhD in Microbiology (UT at Austin), and the MD (Univ. Texas Medical Branch, Galveston). He is a Clinical Professor (retired) in the Division of Emergency Medicine, UT Health Science Center at San Antonio, and has been the Chief of Emergency Medicine at UT Medical Branch and at UTHSCSA with over 250 publications.

  • Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Hepatitis Pictures Slideshow: What Puts You at Risk

Quick GuideHepatitis Pictures Slideshow: What Puts You at Risk

Hepatitis Pictures Slideshow: What Puts You at Risk

What is acute fulminant hepatitis?

Rarely, individuals with acute infections with HAV and HBV develop severe inflammation, and the liver fails (acute fulminant hepatitis). These patients are extremely ill with the symptoms of acute hepatitis already described and the additional problems of confusion or coma (due to the liver's failure to detoxify chemicals), as well as bruising or bleeding (due to a lack of blood clotting factors). In fact, up to 80% of people with acute fulminant hepatitis can die within days to weeks; therefore, it is fortunate that acute fulminant hepatitis is rare. For example, less than 0.5% of adults with acute infection with HBV will develop acute fulminant hepatitis. This is even less common with HCV alone, although it becomes more frequent when both HBV and HCV are present together.

What is chronic viral hepatitis?

Patients infected with HBV and HCV can develop chronic hepatitis. Doctors define chronic hepatitis as hepatitis that lasts longer than 6 months. In chronic hepatitis, the viruses live and multiply in the liver for years or decades. For unknown reasons, these patients' immune systems are unable to eradicate the viruses, and the viruses cause chronic inflammation of the liver. Chronic hepatitis can lead to the development over time of extensive liver scarring (cirrhosis), liver failure, and liver cancer. Liver failure from chronic hepatitis C infection is the most common reason for liver transplantation in the U.S. Patients with chronic viral hepatitis can transmit the infection to others with blood or body fluids (for example, sharing needles, sexually, and infrequently by organ donation) as well as infrequently by transmission from mother to newborn.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/29/2016

Subscribe to MedicineNet's Newsletters

Get the latest health and medical information delivered direct to your inbox!

By clicking Submit, I agree to the MedicineNet's Terms & Conditions & Privacy Policy and understand that I may opt out of MedicineNet's subscriptions at any time.

VIEW PATIENT COMMENTS
  • Viral Hepatitis - Treatment

    What types of treatment, including medication, have you received for your viral hepatitis?

    Post View 2 Comments
  • Viral Hepatitis - Signs and Symptoms

    What were your signs and symptoms associated with viral hepatitis?

    Post View 1 Comment
  • Viral Hepatitis - How You Got it

    If known, how did you contract viral hepatitis? Please share your story.

    Post View 1 Comment
  • Viral Hepatitis - Vaccinations

    Have you received hepatitis vaccinations? If so, were they effective in preventing hepatitis?

    Post

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors