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Viral Hepatitisa 

Viral Hepatitisa
Chapter:
Viral Hepatitisa
Author(s):

John J. Poterucha

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199373338.003.0028
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date: 28 November 2020

Viral infections are important causes of liver disease worldwide. The five primary hepatitis viruses that have been identified are A, B, C, D (or delta), and E. Other viruses such as cytomegalovirus and Epstein-Barr virus also can result in hepatitis as part of a systemic infection. It is useful to divide hepatitis syndromes into acute and chronic forms. Acute hepatitis can last from weeks up to 6 months and is often accompanied by jaundice. Symptoms of acute hepatitis tend to be similar regardless of cause and include anorexia, malaise, dark urine, fever, and mild abdominal pain. In chronic hepatitis, patients are often asymptomatic but may complain of fatigue. Each hepatitis virus causes acute hepatitis, but only hepatitis B, C, and D viruses can cause chronic hepatitis. The purpose of this chapter is to review the primary hepatitis viruses. A more comprehensive discussion of acute hepatitis is found in other chapters.

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