HepatitisJAMA An inflammation of the liver caused by certain viruses and other factors such as alcohol abuse, some medications, and trauma. Although many cases of hepatitis are not a serious threat to health, the disease can become chronic and can sometimes lead to liver failure and death. There are four major types of viral hepatitis: (a) hepatitis A, caused by infection with the hepatitis A virus; (b) hepatitis B, caused by infection with the hepatitis B virus (HBV), which is most commonly passed on to a partner during intercourse, especially during anal sex, as well as through sharing drug needles; (c) non-A, non-B hepatitis, caused by the hepatitis C virus, which appears to be spread through sexual contact as well as through sharing drug needles (another type of non-A, non-B hepatitis is caused by the hepatitis E virus, principally spread through contaminated water) (d) delta hepatitis occurs only in people who are already infected with HBV and is caused by the hepatitis D virus. Most cases of delta hepatitis occur among people who are frequently exposed to blood and blood products, such as people with hemophilia. See also Hemophilia.
an inflammation of the liver that may be caused by
several agents, including viruses and toxins. Hepatitis is characterized
by jaundice, enlarged liver, fever, fatigue and abnormal liver function
tests. Types include hepatitis A (infectious hepatitis), hepatitis B (serum
hepatitis), hepatitis C, hepatitis D (delta hepatitis) and hepatitis E.
A new form, hepatitis G, has recently been characterized.
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