Hepatitis B: Symptoms & Signs

  • Medical Author:
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

Medically Reviewed on 3/19/2019

The term hepatitis refers to inflammation of the liver.

During early infection, healthy people may not develop signs and symptoms of hepatitis B infection. Others may have fever, joint pains, fatigue, dark urine, loss of appetite, nausea, and yellowing of the skin and whites of the eyes (jaundice). Other possible associated signs and symptoms of hepatitis B infection can become apparent if the condition becomes chronic. These can include breast enlargement in men, a rash on the palms, problems with blood clotting, and a web of spider-like blood vessels on the skin.

Cause of hepatitis B

Infection with the hepatitis B virus causes hepatitis B, an inflammation of the liver. The hepatitis B virus infects liver cells and triggers an immune response from the body. This immune response causes inflammation of the liver and may cause significant liver damage.

REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.

Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 3/19/2019

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