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When doctors speak of viral hepatitis, they typically refer to hepatitis caused by a number of specific viruses that primarily attack the liver. The most common hepatitis viruses are types A, B, and C. Non-A, non-B hepatitis and hepatitis C are usually spread through blood transfusions. People who do not have an active infection can spread Non-A, non-B hepatitis and hepatitis C. They are called asymptomatic carriers.

Interferon therapy

Interferon therapy can be used to treat non-A, non-B hepatitis, and chronic hepatitis C and it may provoke various flu like side effects like marrow suppression, emotional liability, autoimmune reactions and other side effects such as: rashes, diarrhea or numbness and tingling of the limbs. The autoimmune thyroiditis is the only irreversible side effect while the others may be eliminated by lowering or stopping the therapy. It seems that immuno-suppressed patients with chronic hepatitis B are irresponsive to interferon therapy.

Liver transplantation

Patients in the end stage of chronic hepatitis B may be forced to undergo a liver transplantation surgery in order to save their lives. A new liver is most commonly being infected again, while the possibility of liver injury varies. Some of the patients may experience a rapid recapitulation of the original severe chronic HBV disease, which most commonly leads to death.

Chronic hepatitis D

Chronic hepatitis D may result from an infection with the hepatitis B virus. Hepatitis D virus is considered a subviral satellite because it can proliferate only in the presence of the Hepatitis B virus. HDV results in more a serious problem compared to infection with HBV alone. These problems include a greater chance of experiencing liver failure in acute infections and a rapid progression to liver cirrhosis, with an increased chance of developing liver cancer. Hepatitis B virus plus hepatitis D has the highest mortality rate of all the hepatitis infections - 20 percent.

Progression to cirrhosis

All three forms of chronic viral hepatitis may be progressive although the risks of developing cirrhosis are more likely in chronic active than chronics persistent or lobular hepatitis B.

Recent studies show that in patients with chronic hepatitis associated with transfusion, progression to cirrhosis has been recorded in as much as 20 percent.

In patients with chronic hepatitis C the occurrence rate of cirrhosis may be as high as 50 percent, even, if the patients do not show any complications of chronic liver disease and maintain normal hepatic synthetic function. Moreover, many cases of hepatitis C are discovered in asymptomatic patients that have no history of acute hepatitis infection. The cause of their infections remains unknown.

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