Chronic lobular hepatitis



Chronic lobular hepatitis

Definition

Chronic persistent hepatitis is mild liver inflammation (swelling and irritation) that may be caused by various viruses and conditions.

Alternative Names

Persistent hepatitis; Hepatitis - persistent; Chronic lobular hepatitis; Mild chronic hepatitis

Causes

Chronic persistent hepatitis can be caused by hepatitis B (HBV), hepatitis C (HCV), hepatitis D (HDV), autoimmune diseases such as lupus, various medications, and unknown (cryptogenic) causes. Most people have no symptoms.

Risk factors include previous viral hepatitis, having lupus or other autoimmune disease, and taking certain medications.

Symptoms

  • Fatigue
  • Lack of appetite
  • Nausea and vomiting
Note: There may be no symptoms.

Exams and Tests

  • Hepatitis B surface antigen (may be positive)
  • Hepatitis C antibody (may be positive)
  • Hepatitis D antibody (may be positive)
  • Tests for lupus or other autoimmune disease (may be positive)
  • Liver biopsy
  • Liver enzymes (slightly high)

Treatment

Treatment is not always needed and depends on the underlying cause of the hepatitis. Each case should be reviewed to determine whether treatment would be helpful. New therapies for chronic viral infections are now able to stop or reverse some liver damage caused by certain viruses.

Outlook (Prognosis)

Most people recover from symptoms of chronic hepatitis. However, if the condition is caused by a virus such as HCV that can cause progressive liver damage, the hepatitis may worsen and cause severe liver scarring, liver failure, and potentially death.

Possible Complications

Progression to liver failure is uncommon with many causes of chronic hepatitis. However, people with viral hepatitis or depressed immune systems, including those with HIV

When to Contact a Medical Professional

Call for an appointment with your health care provider if symptoms of hepatitis worsen or persist.

Prevention

People in high-risk groups such as health care workers can receive a hepatitis B immunization. Safer sex techniques decrease the risk of acquiring hepatitis through sexual contact. Intravenous drug users should seek addiction treatment or avoid sharing needles and any other injection-related paraphernalia.

You may contract hepatitis by simply handling an infected person's injection paraphernalia. Several forms of viral hepatitis are hundreds of times more transmissible via blood than HIV, and they can live for hours, even in dried blood.

Chronic lobular hepatitis
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