Viral Hepatitis leading to Chronic Liver Diseases or Acute Liver Failure
Acute Viral Hepatitis
Acute viral hepatitis varies largely from mild symptoms requiring no treatment to fulminant hepatic failure needing liver transplantation. In younger people acute viral hepatitis is more likely to be asymptomatic. Viral infection accounts for more than 50% of the cases of acute hepatitis in the United States.
Chronic Viral Hepatitis
Majority of chronic viral hepatitis patients will remain asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic, abnormal liver blood tests being the only manifestation.
Incidence of Viral Hepatitis
HAV; HBV; HCV; HDV, which requires coexisting HBV infection; and HEV cause 95% of cases of acute viral hepatitis observed in the United States.In the United States, an estimated 1.2 million Americans are living with chronic Hepatitis B and 3.2 are living with chronic Hepatitis C. Many do not know they are infected with viral hepatitis. Each year an estimated 25,000 persons become infected with Hepatitis A; 43,000 with Hepatitis B, and 17,000 with Hepatitis C.
Approximately 90-95% of cases of acute viral hepatitis B in neonates, 5% of cases of acute viral hepatitis B in adults, and as many as 85% of cases of acute hepatitis C demonstrate histologic evolution to chronic hepatitis.
Risk of Hepatitis due to Viral Infections
Viral hepatitis is the leading cause of liver cancer and the most common reason for liver transplantation.
Liver Cirrhosis due to Viral Hepatitis
Approximately 20% of patients with chronic viral hepatitis B or viral hepatitis C eventually develop liver cirrhosis, as observed histologically. Although some patients with liver cirrhosis are asymptomatic, others develop life-threatening complications. The clinical illnesses of chronic viral hepatitis and liver cirrhosis may take months, years, or decades to evolve.
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