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Internal Medicine
5. Hepatitis
Learning objectives: at the end of this unit the student will be able to
1. Define acute and chronic hepatitis
2. List the etiologies of acute and chronic hepatitis
3. Explain the routes of transmission of the different hepatitis viruses
4. Describe the clinical features of acute and chronic hepatitis
5. List the common complications acute and chronic hepatitis
6. Identify the antigens and antibodies used for the diagnosis of viral hepatitis
7. Make a diagnosis of acute and chronic hepatitis &
8. Refer patients to hospitals for better diagnosis and treatment
Hepatitis is a broad category of clinico-pathologic conditions resulting from viral, toxic,
pharmacologic or immune mediated damage to the liver.
Hepatocellular necrosis and inflammatory cell infiltration of the liver are common
pathologic features.
There are two types of hepatitis, which are defined based on duration:
I. Acute hepatitis: lasts for about 6 months or less.
II. Chronic hepatitis: sustained inflammatory response for over 6 months.
5.1 Acute hepatitis
1) Viruses are the commonest causes, and include hepatitis A, B, C, D, E, G, viruses and
other viruses such as EBV, CMV etc.
2) Toxins (amanita phylloides in mushroom poisoning; carbon tetrachloride).
3) Drugs: acetaminophen, INH, halothane, chlorpromazine, erythromycin, heavy alcohol
4) Others
a. Wilson’s disease
b. Herbs