Introduction

There are five types of viral hepatitis: hepatitis A (HAV), B (HBV), C (HCV), D (HDV), and E (HEV). Acute hepatitis may be associated with all five types of hepatitis and rarely exceeds 6 months in duration. Chronic hepatitis (disease lasting longer than 6 months) is usually associated with hepatitis B, C, and D.

O Chronic viral hepatitis may lead to the development of cirrhosis, which may lead to end-stage liver disease (ESLD) and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Complications of ESLD include ascites, edema, hepatic encephalopathy, infections (e.g., spontaneous bacterial peritonitis), hepatorenal syndrome, and bleeding esophageal varices. Therefore, prevention and treatment of viral hepatitis may prevent ESLD and HCC.

Viral hepatitis can occur at any age and is the most common cause of liver disease in the world. The true prevalence and incidence may be under-reported because most patients are asymptomatic. The epidemiology, etiology, and pathogenesis vary depending on the type of hepatitis and are considered separately below.

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