What is Viral Hepatitis ?
Viral hepatitis is a systemic disease
with primary inflammation of the
liver by any one of a heterogenous
group of hepatotropic viruses
Hepatitis: inflammation of liver
Acute Viral Hepatitis: symptoms last less than 6 months
Acute Hepatic Failure: is the appearance of severe complications rapidly
after the first signs of liver disease (such as jaundice), & indicates that the
liver has sustained severe damage (loss of function of 80-90% of liver
cells).Massive hepatic necrosis with impaired consciousness within 8
weeks of onset of illness.
Chronic Hepatitis: Inflammation of liver for at least 6 months
Cirrhosis: Replacement of liver tissue fibrosis(scar tissue).These changes
lead to loss of liver function.
Fulminant Hepatitis: severe impairment of hepatic functions or severe
necrosis of hepatocytes in the absence of preexisting liver disease.
ACUTE VIRAL HEPATITIS
Acute Viral Hepatitis is a systemic infection
with mainly involvement of liver & rarely can
cause extrahepatic manifestation.
Hepatitis A and E viruses commonly cause
acute viral hepatitis.
Other infections like CMV ,EB virus,
coxsackie virus and adeno virus can cause
• About 15 to 30% of acute cases in india are
caused by HBV.
• HDV is found in 10% of patients with HBV.
• HCV is a rare cause of acute hepatitis.
• Majority of AVH are self limiting.
• Chances of fulminant liver failure varies
from 0.01 to 1%
Hepatitis A (formerly known as ―infectious hepatitis or
epidemic jaundice) is an acute infectious disease caused by
Hepatitis A virus (HAV).
Originally called as enterovirus 72
The disease is benign with complete recovery in several weeks.
It is the only human hepatitis virus which can be cultivated in
M/C of hepatits in children. transmission by feco-oral route.
Virus is shed in feces during the late Incubation period &
prodromal phase of illness.
• It has worldwide distribution and highly
endemic in developing countries
• India is hyperendemic.
• Most of the cases occur in areas of poor
hygeine and sanitation.
Geographic Distribution of HAV
Dr.T.V.Rao MD 13
a) AGENT: The causative agent, the hepatitis A virus, is an
enterovirus of the Picornaviridae family. It multiplies
only in hepatocytes.
•Single stranded RNA virus
•Has one serotype & more than three genotypes.
The virus is fairly resistant to heat and chemicals.
Withstands heating to 60 deg C for 1 hr.
It is not affected by chlorine in doses usually employed for
Formalin is stated to be an effective disinfectant.
The virus is inactivated by ultraviolet rays and by boiling
for 5 minutes or autoclaving.
It survives exposure to ether and acid at pH 3.
Inactivated by heat at 85 deg C for 1 min.
Survives in sea water & dried feces for 4 weeks.
c) RESERVOIR OF INFECTION: The human cases are
the only reservoir of infection.
d) PERIOD OF INFECTIVITY : The risk of transmitting
HAV is greatest from 2 weeks before to 1 week after the
onset of jaundice.
e) INFECTIVE MATERIAL : Mainly man’s faeces.
f) VIRUS EXCRETION: HAV is excreted in the faeces
for about 2 weeks before onset of jaundice and for up to 2
a) AGE: Infection with HAV is more frequent among children
than in adults. However, people from all ages may be infected
b) SEX: Both sexes are equally susceptible.
c) IMMUNITY: Immunity after attack probably lasts for life.
• Cases may occur throughout the year.
• In India the disease tends to be associated with periods of
Routes of transmission
1. Feaco-oral transmission
2. Intra familial sexual contact with an infected person
3. Rarely parenteral
4. Ingestion of contaminated food.
Persons at risk
1. Travellers to endemic areas
2. Sexual contacts of infected persons
3. Household members
4. Men having sex with men
5. Drug abusers.
INCUBATION PERIOD : 15-50 DAYS
• CLINICAL PATTERNS.
1. Asymptomatic without jaundice
2. Symptomatic with jaundice and self limiting after 8
3. Cholestatic with jaundice lasting 10 weeks or more.
4. Relapsing (10%)
5. Fulminant hepatic failure.
Loss of appetite
A person may have all, some or none of these
Approach to Diagnosis
Hepatitis A (HAV)
Assay “total” anti-HAV as clinically
Not immune to
Immune to HAV
1. Demonstration of Virus in feces, blood, bile:
By: Immunoelectron microscopy
2. Virus Isolation:
3. Detection of Antibody :By ELISA
4. Biochemical tests:
i) Alanine aminotransferase (ALT)
5. Molecular Diagnosis : RT PCR of feces
URINE AND FEACES
• Bilirubin appears in urine before jaundice.
• Urobilnogen is found in late pre icteric phase it
disappears at the height of jaundice ,its
reappearence indicates recovery.
• Conjugated bilirubin rises early even before total
• A raised serum AST or ALT, which can sometimes be
very high, precedes the jaundice.
• ALP level is usually < 3 times elevated. Serum albumin
globulin are unchanged.
• In the icteric stage the serum bilirubin reflects the level
• Serum AST reaches a maximum 1-2 days after the
appearance of jaundice, and may rise above 500 IU/L,
the aminotransferases may remain elevated for some
weeks and occasionally for up to 6 months.
• Leucopenia,and neutropenia is seen in pre icteric
• Aplastic anemia is rare.
• PT is prolonged.
• An INR of >1.5 is considered severe acute hepatitis.
• ESR is raised in preicteric phase falls to normal
during jaundice and rises again during recovery &
returns to normal after recovery.
VIRAL MARKERS :
• IgM anti HAV indicates acute infection
• IgG anti HAV suggests previous infection or vaccination.
• HAV RNA can be detected in blood, stools and liver but it
is not used.
• IgG antibodies are common in the general population over
the age of 50 years, but an anti- HAV IgM means an acute
• In areas of high prevalence most children have antibodies
by the age of 3 years following asymptomatic infection.
• Treatment has little effect in altering the course.
• It is wise to treat all attacks as fatal.
• Bed rest is advised till jaundice disappears, a less
strict regime if patient is young
• Rest after each meal is advised.
• The traditional low fat & high carb diet is
• When appetite returns, high proteins are
• Corticosteroids are not indicated except
occasionally in cholestatic hepatitis A.
• Follow up is advised till three months.
• Alcohol denied for 6 months preferably 1 year
Provision of clean drinking water
Proper sewage disposal
Public education about hygeine
Highly effective active and passive
immunisation are available.
1. IMMUNE SERUM GLOBULIN
o ISG is being replaced by vaccine
o ISG is still used in those with acutely exposed
o It is ineffective in hyperendemic areas or in interrupting
common source outbreaks.
o Pre exposure prophylaxis with inactivated vaccines can
give protection till 20 years
o Passive immunisation is used in post exposure
prophylaxis-0.02ml/kg BW on deltoid within two
weeks along with active immunisation.
Immunization against HAV in chronic illnesses
Pre-exposure prophylaxis recommended :
• Chronic liver disease (risk of HAV-related morbidity
• Patients awaiting liver transplantation
• Patients already undergone liver transplantation.
• HIV patients (response to vaccination may be reduced
because of a blunted immune system)
Recovery in > 99%
Clinical relapse in 4-20%
Rarely need to hospitalize or transplant
Fulminant hepatitis <0.35%
Also known as enterically transmitted non-A non-
B(NANB) virus or epidemic NANB.
Classified in the genus HERPES virus under the family
Single stranded +sense RNA virus.
The viral particles in stool are spherical, 27 to 34 nm in
diameter with icosahedral symmetry, and unenveloped,
and they exhibit spikes on their surface.
A unique feature is the clinical severity and high case
fatality rate of 15-25% in pregnant women, especially in
the last trimester of pregnancy.
Highest attack rates among young adults 15-40 years
with relative sparing of children.
Characteristically associated with cholestasis
There are 4 Genotypes in india.
Genotype 1 is common in india.
It is highly endemic
Faecoral transmission is common.
Rarely parentrally transmitted.
SIMILARITIES IN HAV & HEV:
1. Both have acute onset with mild illness.
2. Both are transmitted by feco-oral route.
DIFFERENCES IN HAV & HEV:
1. HAV is more common in children. While HEV is more
common in young adult.
2. HEV can cause fulminant hepatitis in pregnant women
( not HAV).
3. Secondary attack rate of HEV is very low (2-3%) as
against 10-20% in HAV.
• Travellers to endemic areas
• Sexual contacts of infected persons
• Household members
• Men having sex with men
• Drug abusers.
No potential for chronicity.
ANIMAL RESEVOIRS : Pigs
INCUBATION PERIOD : 2-9 WEEKS
PERSONS AT RISK
Treatment and prevention
• Acute hepatitis E is self limiting.
• Supportive care and no specific intervention
• Isolation of infected persons is not indicated.
• Patients with fulminant hepatitis require anti
edema measures and liver transplantation is to
• In pregnant women no proven evidence of
terminating pregnancy is documented.
• A vaccine using a recombinant truncated form of
HEV capsid protein, produced in Spodoptera
frugiperda cells infected with a recombinant
baculovirus and adsorbed on aluminium
hydroxide, has undergone phase 2 trails.
• Vaccine showed 95.5% protective efficacy
against hepatitis E disease among those who
received three doses and 88.5% efficacy in an
intention-to-treat analysis among those who had
received only the first dose.
• The vaccine may be useful for travelers to
HEV-endemic regions and for pregnant women
and persons with chronic liver disease who
reside in such regions.
• Finally, cost considerations will determine
whether this new and promising vaccine can
1. Maintaining quality standards for public water
2. Establishing proper disposal systems to eliminate
3. Maintaining hygienic practices such as hand washing
with safe water, particularly before handling food;
4. Avoiding drinking water and/or ice of unknown
5. Avoiding eating uncooked shellfish, and uncooked
fruits or vegetables that are not peeled or that are
prepared by people living in or travelling in highly
Dr.T.V.Rao MD 55
Trey and Davidson define ALF as occurrence of
encephalopathy with or without coagulopathy within 8
weeks of onset of symptoms of acute hepatitis in an
individual without any history of pre-existing liver
Rapid development of severe acute liver injury with
impaired function and encephalopathy in previously
normal liver(8 weeks) or (2 weeks)with underlying
• Fulminanat hepatitis is associated with A,B and
• Pyrexia is more frequent with type A
• The duration of illness before encephalopathy is
more with non A non B non C.
• Prothombin time is greatest with type B.
• It occurs within 10 days
• Disease can be confused with psychosis and
• Patient becomes deeply jaundiced, has
repeated vomiting, fetor hepaticus, confusion
• Flapping tremor is transient but rigidity is
• Coma superveins
• Widespread haemorrhages may develop
• Leucocytosis can occur in contrast to leucopenia
of viral hepatitis.
• The rise of bilirubin and transaminases are poor
indicators of prognosis.
• Transaminases may fall when patients condition
• Blood coagulation is grossly deranged
• Prothrombin time is best indicator of prognosis.
MANAGEMENT OF COMPLICATION
• Positioning of head and trunk at 35° to 40° angle
• Avoiding unnecessary motions of the head and
• Avoiding hypoxaemia, hypercapnoea, fluid
overload and acidbase imbalance.
• Rapid infusion of mannitol (20%) at a dose of 100
ml is the first step.
• Induction of barbiturate coma may be used as a
rescue therapy, if mannitol fails.
• Sepsis is the second major cause of death among
Indian patients with ALF.
• Gram-negative bacteria are the major cause of
sepsis in these patients.
• Prophylactic parenteral antibiotics using third
Renal Failure : low dose dopamine (2 µg/kg/hr to
2.5 µg/kg/hr) may be beneficial.
• The mainstay of management of renal failure in
patients with ALF however is haemodialysis.
• Coagulopathy associated with ALF is currently
• Prophylactic use of fresh frozen plasma (FFP)
and vitamin K has not been shown to prevent
• Urgent OLT is now the standard therapy for ALF
in individuals who, on clinical and laboratory
criteria, have a less than 20% chance of survival.
Contraindications to OLT include
1. Irreversible brain damage,
2. Uncontrolled bacteraemia,
4. concurrent malignant disease
• Auxiliary liver transplantation is another
treatment option for ALF.
Acute hepatitis in HBV and HCV
Clinical features and management are similar as
acute hepatitis caused by HAV.
The course may be anicteric.
Sub-clinical episodes are extremely frequent.
The non-icteric case is more liable to become
chronic than the icteric one.
The usual acute clinical attack, diagnosed in the
adult , tends to be more severe than for HAV
Benign course is marked by increased serum
transaminase values for more than 100 days.
Relapses are rare.
Cholestatic hepatitis with prolonged deep
jaundice is unusual.
Acute hepatitis B is self-limited in 95–99%
while hepatitis C is self-limited in only 15%
• SELF LIMITING
• Does not require any specific treatment.
• Patients should be followed up to detect
chronicity particularly in children.
• Treatment with lamivudine,telbivudine or
entacavir is indicated in patients with
fulminant hepatitis, proctracted severe
Extra hepatic manifetations
• Polyarteritis. This involves largely medium and small
arteries and appears early in the course of the disease.
Plasmapheresis and adenine arabinoside have been
used for treatment
• Glomerulonephritis. This has been associated with HBV
infection, largely in children .
• Essential mixed cryoglobulinaemia is a rare association
of HBV infection although very frequent in HCV
• The Guillain–Barré syndrome has been reported with
HBsAg-containing immune complexes in serum and
•DELTA agent is single stranded , circular, antisense
•HDV is considered to be a subviral satellite because it
can propagate only in the presence of the hepatitis B virus
• It is highly infectious
VIRION: spherical, 36-38 nm particle with an outer
coat composed of the HBsAg surrounding ssRNA
Satellite virus : replicates only in the presence of HBV
Incubation Period : 2-12 weeks
Mode of Transmission: The primary route of
Transmission are believed to be similar to those of
HBV, though HDV does not appear to be sexually
Intravenous drug abuse (strongly associated )
Homosexual men (infrequent)
Developmentally disabled .
HDV can spread heterosexually .
Intrafamily spread has been noted in southern Italy .
Children can be affected.
HDV infection may be reactivated by HIV infection
Infection is dependent on HBV replication, as HBV
provides an HBsAg envelop for HDV.
Two types of infection are recognised:
coinfection and superinfection.
In Coinfection, delta and HBV are transmitted together
at the same time.
In Superinfection, delta infection occurs in a person
already harbouring HBV.
Delta antigen is primarily expressed in liver cell nuclei,
where it can be demonstrated by immunofluorescence.
Anti-delta antibodies appear in serum and can be
identified by ELISA.
IgM antibody appears 2-3 weeks after infection and is
soon replaced by the IgG antibody in acute delta infection.
It is diagnosed by finding serum IgM anti-HDV in the presence of
high-titre IgM anti-HBc.
These markers appear at 1 week, and IgM anti-HDV is gone by 5–
6 weeks but may last for up to 12 weeks
Self limited as HDV cannot outlive the transient HBs
It is marked by the early presence of serum IgM anti-HDV, usually
at the same time as early IgG anti-HDV and both antibodies
IgM anti-HBc negative
the acute attack may be severe and even fulminant, or may be
marked only by a rise in serum transaminase levels
• Vaccination against hepatitis B makes the
recipient immune to HBV infection and
protects against HDV infection.
• Treatment is unsatisfactory.
• High doses of interferon given for long periods
result in reductions of AST but recurrence is
Hepatitis G virus
• GB virus C (GBV-C)
• It is a virus in the Flaviviridae family and a
member of the Pegivirus genus, is known to infect
humans, but is not known to cause human disease.
• HGV RNA has been found in patients with acute,
chronic and fulminant hepatitis, hemophiliacs,
patients with multiple transfusions and
hemodialysis, intravenous drug addicts and blood
• This acute infection is
due to a group B arbovirus
transmitted to man by the
bite of infected mosquitoes.
• The virus cycle is a direct human one in urban
yellow fever, or may involve wild monkeys in the
• Incubation period of 3–6 days
• Onset is sudden with fever, chills, headache,
backache, prostration and vomiting, often of
• The blood pressure falls, haemorrhages become
• Jaundice and albuminuria are conspicuous
• Delirium proceeds to coma
• Death may occur within 9 days.
• Demonstrating specific IgM antibodies to
yellow fever virus.
• Prothrombin deficiency parallels the severity
of the liver lesion.
• The serum cholesterol and glucose levels fall
in the fatal case.
• Serum transaminases are increased relative
• There is no specific treatment.
• Death results principally from renal damage.
• The hepatic lesion is self-limited and short-
lived and does not demand special treatment.
Epstein barr virus
• Primary infection in children is usually asymptomatic.
• In adolescents and young people, it causes a hepatitis which
may mimic HAV, HBV or HCV hepatitis.
• Presentation, particularly in adults, may be as fever with
right, upper quadrant, abdominal discomfort. Pharyngitis and
lymphadenopathy may be absent.
• It can cause fulminant hepatitis in elderly people
• It may be a trigger autoimmune hepatitis in susceptible
people such as the immunosuppressed.
• EBV infection may be associated with lymphoproliferative
• The serum albumin level may be slightly decreased and
the serum globulin value slightly elevated.
• Hyperbilirubinaemia is present in about one-half of
• Serum transaminase values are raised to about 20 times
the normal in 80% of patients.
• In about one-third the serum alkaline phosphatase value
is increased, often more so than that of bilirubin.
• The monospot reaction is positive.
• The disease is diagnosed conclusively by an increase in
serum IgM antibodies against EBV capsid antigens.
• The picture may simulate type A, B or C hepatitis, having a
similar onset but with failure of the pyrexia to subside with the
onset of jaundice.
• Icterus lasts 2–3 weeks and even up to 3 months. Occasionally,
massive hepatic necrosis may be fatal.
• Granulomatous hepatitis can develop in a previously normal
• Cholangitis, papillary stenosis and sclerosing cholangitis can
accompany cytomegalovirus infections in patients with AIDS
• Rarely cause posttransfusion hepatitis.
• Causes real problem in adult and paediatric recipients of kidneys
and liver transplants
• Diagnosis is by isolation of virus from urine or
• Complement-fixing antibodies rise and
cytomegalovirus IgM antibodies can be found.
• The virus cannot usually be shown in liver
biopsy but direct hepatic involvement has been
confirmed by demonstrating nuclear and
cytoplasmic inclusions in hepatocytes
• Human herpes virus types I and II affect all humans at
some time during their lives.
• In infants, herpes hepatitis may be part of generalized
• In adults, disseminated herpes simplex is very rare.
• It can affect those with underlying diseases
e.g. ulcerative colitis , AIDS , those receiving
immunosuppressive treatment or having organ
• Fulminant hepatic failure can also affect the
previously normal and immunocompetent .
• The onset is with fever, prostration, marked
elevation of transaminases and leucopenia.
• Jaundice is absent.
• Fulminant liver failure with fatal coagulopathy can
HEPATITIS DUE TO EXOTIC VIRUSES
• These very dangerous viruses have the liver as the
primary target .
• They include Marburg, Lassa and Ebola
• It is due to an arenavirus transmitted from rodents to man
or from man to man.
• It is largely found in West Africa. The case fatality rate is
• Diagnosis is made by demonstrating virus in the blood
during the first few days and by IgM antibodies from the
• It has been successfully treated with ribavirin
Marburg virus disease
• It is due to an RNA virus transmitted by Vervet monkeys.
• After an incubation period of 4–7 days the patients
present with headache, pyrexia, vomiting, a characteristic
rash, a haemorrhagic diathesis and central nervous system
• Serum transaminase levels are very high
Ebola virus infection
• It resembles Marburg in clinical course, hepatic
histology and electron microscopy
• It has been reported from Zaïre and the Sudan and
has been transmitted to biologists working with it.
• There is no specific treatment for these
exotic virus infections.
• Symptomatic measures are used and very
strict precautions are necessary to avoid
spread to contacts