Viral hepatitis


Viral hepatitis is inflammation of the liver caused by viral infection. In the beginning, the symptoms noticed by most patients are often fatigue, weakness, muscle pains and headaches. Shortly after that, patients feel loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting and discomfort on the right side of the upper abdomen. The following symptoms are jaundice (a yellowing of the eyes and skin) and often dark urine with pale stools and a mild fever. The jaundice can last for up to one and half months during which the patient generally starts to feel better. Fatigue is usually the last symptom to disappear. Some patients also have painful joints and those with severe jaundice may experience intense itching of the skin. The disease duration is normally 2-4 months, most patients can recover successfully, a small percentage of the patients become chronic virus carriers and may develop serious liver disease.


1. Clinical classification: acute viral hepatitis, chronic viral hepatitis, severe viral hepatitis, cholestatic hepatitis, hepatitis cirrhosis.
2. Etiology classification: hepatitis A, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, hepatitis D, hepatitis E.


Make a comprehensive diagnosis according to epidemiologic data, symptom, sign, chemical examination and pathogenic detection.


During the early stage of the disease, rich bed-rest together with a light diet and non-alcohol are recommended. So far, there is no drug that can cure viral hepatitis. Depending on the cause, some chronic hepatitis may be treated with interferon, other anti-viral drugs and liver-protective agents. A liver transplant may be an option in cases of fulminant acute hepatitis or if liver failure develops.