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Hepatitis B

more about Hepatitis B


  • Hepatitis means inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis B is a specific type of hepatitis.

  • First phase (lasts 2-3 weeks):
    1. Fatigue
    2. Not "feeling well"
    3. Loss of appetite
    4. Nasal discharge
    5. Sore throat
    6. Skin rashes (urticaria)
    7. Joint pain
    8. Fever or chills
    9. Nausea/vomiting
    10. Abdominal pain
    11. Diarrhea or Constipation
  • Second ("icteric") phase (occurs 5-10 days after first phase):
    1. Yellow skin or eyes
    2. Usually the earlier symptoms improve
    3. Infants and young children my not become "icteric"
  • Third (convalescent) phase: Continued steady improvement
  • Chronic persistent hepatitis:
    1. May have no symptoms
    2. Fatigue
    3. Loss of appetite
  • Chronic active hepatitis:
    1. May have no symptoms
    2. Fatigue
    3. Yellow skin or yellow eyes may be present

  • It is caused by the hepatitis B virus:
    1. Hepatitis B is usually transmitted by blood products or sexually
    2. Hepatitis B can cause an acute infection or a chronic (persistent) infection.

  • Skin -- yellow skin or eyes
  • Liver tenderness
  • Spleen tenderness
  • Elevated AST, ALT, and Total bilirubin
  • Hepatitis B antibody testing to confirm diagnosis:
    1. Acute: positive HBsAg, HbeAg, Anti-HBc IgM
    2. Chronic persistent: positive HBsAg, positive Anti-Hbe IgG
    3. Chronic active hepatitis: positive HBsAg, Anti HBc IgG (& low levels IgM), HbeAg
  • Liver biopsy to diagnose chronic forms

  • Infants of mothers with Hepatitis B
  • Patients and workers in hemodialysis or oncology units
  • Patients requiring frequent blood transfusions
  • Patients with Down Syndrome
  • Household contacts of HBsAg carriers
  • Homosexuals
  • Intravenous drug abusers
  • Medical professionals

  • Rest, hydration, and adequate nutrition
  • Acute hepatitis: Avoid Tylenol and alcoholic beverages.  Bedrest as needed.  No medical treatment.
  • Chronic active hepatitis:
    1. Alpha-Interferon
    2. Lamivudine

  • Infection with Delta agent.  This is a secondary agent on top of the infection with Hepatitis B.  It can make the infection much more severe.  Diagnosis is made by checking for anti-HDV in the blood.
  • Hepatocellular (liver) cancer -- persons who have been infected with Hepatitis B are at much higher risk of developing liver cancer.
  • Liver cirrhosis

  • 10% of hepatitis B becomes chronicHepatitis and can lead to permanent liver cirrhosis or liver cancer

  • If your child has any of following symptoms, he/she needs hospitalization.
    1. Severe vomiting and Dehydration
    2. Bleeding problems
    3. Suspected brain dysfunction

  • Hepatitis B vaccine:
    1. Hepatitis B Vaccine now exists.  It is routinely given to all neonates, infants, and all unvaccinated adolescents.
    2. Hepatitis B immune globulin after exposure to HBV infection (e.g., infants of mothers with hepatitis B)
    3. Universal Blood Precautions:




more about Hepatitis B


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