viral hepatitis

Last reviewed 01/2018

Acute viral hepatitis may be caused by a large variety of viruses. The most well known viral causes are hepatitis A, B, C, D, E, G viruses and Epstein-Barr virus.

The clinical manifestations of viral hepatitis are highly variable ranging from a mild asymptomatic presentation - usually - to fulminant, possibly fatal, hepatic failure.

If viral serology is negative, consider other causes of acute hepatitis, for example:

  • alpha-1 anti-trypsin deficiency
  • drug e.g. paracetamol poisoning, isoniazid, allopurinol, halothane, sulphonamides, methyldopa
  • Wilson's disease
  • Reye's syndrome in children
  • lymphoma
  • Budd-Chiari syndrome
  • poisons such as Amanita phalloides