Hepatitis is a medical term for the presence of the inflammatory process in the liver. Viral and toxic alcoholic hepatitis are the most common.
Any inflammatory processes in the liver are dangerous as they lead to the hepatocytes (liver cells) damage and their replacement with the connective tissue. Hepatitis carries the risk of liver failure, cirrhosis, liver cancer, and often can be lethal.
According to the etiological factors, four different types of hepatitis are distinguished:
Infectious hepatit is mostly caused by the hepatitis viruses A, B, and C. Hepatit is viruses D, E, F, G canal so be met.
Hepatitis A can be transmitted through the faecal-oral route. Hepatitis B and C can be transmitted sexually or while giving or having an injection (often drug addicts who use samesyringe can be infected this way).
Secondary hepatitis can develop along with some other infections. This means, that other organs are affected first, but liver also becomes one of the targets. Hepatitis can lead to:
Toxic hepatitis. Acute in flammatory processes are caused by the large amount of toxinsin the blood. Mushroom poisoning, industrial or household toxins, medication overdose can lead to the toxic hepatitis.
Chronic toxic hepatitis are caused by constant long-term exposure to the toxins. Such toxins alcohol, constant intake of the hepatotoxic drugs or the occupational hazards (eg. chemical industry).
Radiation hepatitis is rare and develops if the atomic (radiation) disease is present. The cause of the illness in this case is the gamma-rays’ impact on the patient’s body.
Autoimmune hepatitis is a rare disease the origin of which is unknown. Antibodies that destroy the liver cells are formed in patient’s body.
Hepatitis is not just one exact illness, but a whole group of the pathological processes of different etiology which are bound by the liver damage. Symptoms and clinical course of the disease significantly differ from case to case.
But there are similar symptoms and signs that can tell about the hepatitis appearance:
Hepatitisare usually manifested by the common symptoms. This can be increase in the body temperature, nausea, vomiting, appetite worsening.
Possible complications of the hepatitis are:
Diagnostic criteria for differen the patitis are vary . Basic tests that help doctor to establish the diagnosis are:
Biochemicalbloodtest helps to assess the liver function based on the laboratory parameters.
Ultrasound of the abdominal cavity organs. Doctor can see the increase in liver and spleen sizes, changes in the organ’s parenchyma and the bile ducts condition.
Serological diagnostics. Blood is tested for the antibodies against the infectious hepatitis.
PCR (Polymerase Chain Reaction) is one more method of the infectious agents’ diagnostic. Polymerase chain reaction helps to detect the genetic material of the virus based on which its identification is done.
Liver biopsy allows receiving the biological material for the cytological or morphological analysis. Liver biopsy gives a possibility to identify the type of the hepatitis and also to differentiate the inflammatory liver damage from the other hepatobiliary system pathologies.
Hepatitis are treated conservatively. Therapy methods depend on the etiology of the inflammatory process in the liver:
Some of the patients might need the liver transplant as the hepatitis can become a reason of the fibrosis and cirrhosis later. Liver failure is developing. Viral hepatitis can cause the hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer).
Different diseases that are accompanied by the inflammatory process in the liver have different courses. Some of them are easily treated and never bother patient again; others destroy the liver, cause liver failure or cancer, and have lethal end.
Prognosis for the most common viral hepatitis is:
Hepatitis A has a favourable prognosis and complications usually don’t develop.
Hepatitis B causes liver cirrhosis in 5 years from the moment of the diagnosis among 10% of patients, in 10 years – among 25% of patients. The illness becomes the cause of liver cancer in 2-5% of patients.
Hepatitis C causes liver cirrhosis in 30% of patients. Without any treatment, in 75% of cases, it leads to the cancer development. Prognosis is favorable if the timely and quality treatment is provided and if there is no liver cirrhosis.
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