Liver Disorders Treatment > Acute Hepatitis, Causes of Inflamed Liver Disorder
Acute Hepatitis, Causes of Liver Inflammation
Acute Hepatitis is a sudden short term inflammation of the liver due to a variety of causes. The condition has various causes and has a sudden onset. Most people with acute hepatitis recover within a month or two. However, in some cases inflammation of the liver persists for many months or even years (chronic hepatitis) or progresses to liver failure.
Causes of Acute Hepatitis
The most common cause of Acute Hepatitis is infection with any one of the several types of hepatitis viruses. Until the late 1980s, there were only two known hepatitis viruses, hepatitis A and B. Additional hepatitis viruses have now been identified, including hepatitis C, D and E.
Other Hepatitis viruses are almost certainly yet to be discovered. The known viruses can all cause acute hepatitis, and they have many features in common, although the way in which they are transmitted and their long term effects may differ. Infections with some types of bacteria, other nonhepatitis viruses, and some parasites can also lead to Acute Hepatitis. In addition, the inflamed liver condition may be caused by noninfectious agents, such as some drugs and toxins, including alcohol (Alcohol related liver disease).
Hepatitis A Virus: The Hepatitis A virus is the most common cause of Acute Hepatitis in the U.S. Often, the virus does not produce symptoms, or symptoms are so mild that the infection passes unrecognized. The hepatitis A virus can be detected in the urine and feces of infected people, and it can be transmitted to other people in contaminated food or water.
Hepatitis B Virus: Large number of people each year become infected with the Hepatitis B Virus. The Hepatitis B Virus is spread by contact with an infected personís body fluids. For eg, the virus can be spread by intercourse or by sharing contaminated needles used for taking drugs intravenously. In developing countries, the infection is most commonly transmitted from mother to baby at birth. Before blood banks routinely screened blood for the virus, blood transfusions used to be a source of Hepatitis B infection, and many people with hemophilia (Hemophilia and Christmas Disease) contracted hepatitis. All blood used for transfusions is now screened for the hepatitis B virus.
Hepatitis C Virus: Hepatitis C Virus is most commonly transmitted by blood, often by sharing contaminated needles used for taking drugs intravenously. All blood used for transfusions in the U.S is now screened for the hepatitis C virus. It is also spread by intercourse.
Hepatitis D and E Viruses: Infection with Hepatitis D Virus occurs only in people who already have hepatitis B infection. It is spread by contact with infected body fluids. The Hepatitis E virus is a rare cause of hepatitis in the developed world. The hepatitis E virus is excreted in the feces of infected people and is spread in much the same way as the hepatitis A virus.
Other Infectious Causes of Acute Hepatitis: Acute Hepatitis may also be caused by other viral infections, such as cytomegalovirus and the Epstein-Barr virus, the cause of infectious mononucleosis. Some bacterial infections, such as leptospirosis and Legionnairesí disease, can cause hepatitis. Parasitic infections that may also result in acute hepatitis include infection with plasmodium, the cause of malaria.
NonInfectious Causes of Acute Hepatitis: In developed countries, excessive alcohol consumption is one of the most common causes of acute hepatitis. The inflamed liver condition can also be caused by other toxins, such as those found in poisonous fungi. Acute hepatitis can also be caused by certain drugs, such as some anticonvulsants, the anesthetic gas halothane, and an overdose of acetaminophen. Occasionally, acute hepatitis occurs in pregnancy, although the cause is not fully understood.
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