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Welcome, eCureMe.com medical contents search April 26, 2013
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Sexually Transmitted Diseases


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    Hepatitis B


    Description
    • Hepatitis refers to an inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis B is a specific type of hepatitis caused by the hepatitis B virus, which is usually transmitted by blood products, or sexually. Hepatitis B can cause an acute infection or a chronic (persistent) one.


    Risk Factors
    • Homosexual behavior
    • Intravenous drug abuse
    • Medical professionals
    • Hemodialysis workers
    • Infants of mothers with hepatitis B


    Symptoms

    First phase (lasts 2-3 weeks):
    • Fatigue
    • Not "feeling well"
    • Loss of appetite
    • Nasal discharge
    • Sore throat
    • Skin rashes
    • Joint pain
    • Fever or chills
    • Nausea/vomiting
    • Abdominal pain
    • Diarrhea or constipation

    Second (Icteric) phase (occurs 5-10 days after first phase):
    • Yellow skin or eyes
    • Usually other symptoms improve
    • Third (convalescent) phase:
    • Continued steady improvement
    • Chronic persistent hepatitis:
    • May have none
    • Fatigue
    • Loss of appetite
    • Chronic active hepatitis:
    • May have none
    • Fatigue
    • Yellow skin or eyes may be present


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


    Similar Conditions
    • Mononucleosis
    • Hepatitis A
    • Hepatitis C
    • Cytomegalovirus
    • Q fever
    • Drug-induced liver disease
    • Secondary syphilis
    • Cholecystitis
    • Alcoholic hepatitis
    • Autoimmune hepatitis


    Complications
    • 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-patients who have been infected with hepatitis B are at much higher risk of developing liver cancer
    • Liver cirrhosis


    Treatment
    • Acute hepatitis:
    • Avoid Tylenol and alcoholic beverages. Bed rest as needed. No medical treatment.
    • Chronic active hepatitis:
    • Alpha-Interferon
    • Lamivudine


    Prevention
    • Hepatitis B vaccine:
    • Hepatitis B vaccine now exists and is routinely given during childhood immunizations. It is also given to high-risk adults, e.g., medical professionals.
    • Hepatitis B immune globulin immunization for pregnant mothers
    • Universal blood precautions
    • Condoms may reduce or eliminate the chances of contracting hepatitis B from sexual relations.



     
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