What is Hepatitis?

What is Hepatitis

    It refers to the inflammation of liver caused by hepatitis virus. Others like Cytomegalovirus also cause inflammation of liver. Mostly, Liver Infection is caused by different types of hepatitis viruses like A, B, C, D, E, Alcoholic, drug or chemical induced and Autoimmune hepatitis. The condition remains self-limiting or can progress to fibrosis, cirrhosis or liver cancer. Others like hepatitis- F and G were also believed to cause the liver infection, which is yet to be confirmed.

                                    Image result for hepatitis


     Hepatitis is the most common viral infection. Globally, 350 million people have been estimated as carriers of Hepatitis- B virus infection, and 6,00,000 patients die each year. Hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer) is the most common cases (around 85%) observed in developing countries. Approximately 2.2 million people have been affected in U.S with HBV infection.

Risk factors

  • Liver cell Injury
  • Decreased prothrombin production by liver
  • Impaired functions of liver
  • Transmitted through blood transfusions but rarely
  • Can be infected to Multiple sex partners/ Sexual contact 
  • Hemodialysis
  • From Infected mother to foetus
  • Health care workers
  • Spreads rarely by Tattoing, Body piercing etc.,
  • Intravenous drug users
  • Alcohol users
  • HIV patients
  • Hemophilic persons

Types of Hepatitis

       Majorly, liver inflammation is of two types based on the etiology, Infectious and Non-Infectious Hepatitis. Hepatitis virus may cause the inflammation of liver and others like drugs, Allergens, Animal dander, Alcohol etc.,

Infectious :

  • Hepatitis-A – Caused by Hepatitis-A virus. Spreads from infected food and water. It doesn’t leads to either chronic infection or chronic inflammation.

  • Hepatitis-B – Caused by Hepatitis-B virus. Transmitted through infectious body fluids like blood, semen, vaginal fluids etc.,
  • Hepatitis-C – Caused by Hepatitis-C virus. Transmitted through direct contact and injection drug use.
  • Hepatitis-D – Caused by Hepatitis-D virus. It is a rare form of hepatitis that occurs in conjunction with hepatitis- B, very uncommon in U.S. Can’t multiply without the presence of hepatitis- B 
  • Hepatitis-E – Caused by Hepatitis-E virus. Commonly found in areas with poor sanitation and contamination.


  • Drug Induced Hepatitis
  • Alchoholic Hepatitis
  • Auto-Immune Hepatitis

How is it caused

                                Causes like Hepatitis virus, alcohol etc.,
                                 Damage to hepatocytes by own Immune system
                                 Alteration in the liver function
                                Increase in the no. and size of kupffer cells
                                Liver Inflammation and altered blood flow
                                Decreased vit-K absorption and Bilurubin metabolism
                                Conjugated and unconjugated Hyperbilurubinaemia
                                Increased Urobilinogen and Jaundice
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Signs and symptoms

  • Fever
  • Abdominal pain
  • Nausea
  • Jaundice
  • Fatigue
  •  Flu-like symptoms
  • Tiredness
  • Dark urine
  • Skin rashes
  • Anorexia
  • Light colored Stools


  • Blood tests to evaluate liver enzymes
  • Liver function tests
  • AST/SGOT test
  • ALT/SGPT test
  • Alkaline phosphatase transaminase
  • Enzyme ImmunoAssay
  • PCR Assay
  • Serum protein
  • Serum bilurubin
  • Urinary urobilinogen
  • Prothrombin time


  • Lamivudine
  • Adefovir dipivoxil
  • Antiviral drugs 
  • Ribovarin
  • Entecavir
  • Tenofovir

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