Nonviral hepatitis: inflammation of the liver usually resulting from exposure to certain toxins or drugs. In toxic hepatitis, liver damage (diffuse fatty infiltration of liver cells and necrosis) usually occurs within 24 to 48 hours after exposure to toxic agents. Alcohol, anoxia, and preexisting liver disease exacerbate the toxic effects of some of these agents. Recovery from nonviral hepatitis for most patients is good, although a few develop fulminating hepatitis or cirrhosis.
Cause: Toxic hepatitis may result from exposure to various hepatotoxins, such as acetaminophen, carbon tetrachloride, poisonous mushrooms, or vinyl chloride. Drug induced hepatitis may result from a hypersensitivity reaction unique to the affected patient such as, sulfonamides and, phenothiazines (cholestasis-induced hepatitis).
nausea and vomiting
Hepatomegaly (enlarge liver)
May have abdominal pain.
With the cholestatic form, clay colored stools and pruritus may occur.
Effective treatment aims to remove the causative agent by lavage( the irrigation or washing out of an organ), catharsis (a cleansing or purgation), or hyperventilation, depending on the route of exposure.
For gold or arsenic : Dimercaprol is an antidote used for toxic hepatitis cause by these but does not prevent drug induced hepatitis caused by other substances.
Corticosteroids may be ordered for patients with the drug induced type.
Thioctic acid may be prescribed to alleviate mushroom poisoning.
Cause: By hepatitis viruses
Preicteric phase (preceding
the appearance of jaundice-yellowing of the skin): the patient may
complain of fatigue, malaise, arthralgia (pain in a joint), myalgia (muscular
pain), photophobia (abnormal visual intolerance to light), and headache.
The patient may also experience nausea and vomiting, fever, liver and lymph node enlargement. His sense of taste and smell may be alter.
Icteric phase (jaundice-icterus stage) this phase lasts 2 to 2 weeks. The patient may experience mild weight loss, dark urine, clay colored stools, yellow sclera and skin, and continued hepatomegaly with tenderness.
Convalescent Phase lasts 2 to 12 weeks or possibly longer. The patient may continue to feel fatigue, have abdominal pain or tenderness, flatulence, and indigestion.
There is no specific treatment that exists for hepatitis.
Rest and combat anorexia by eating small meals high in calories and protein for the early stages of this disease.
Antiemetic may be prescribed for nausea and prevent vomiting.
In severe hepatitis: Corticosteroids may be prescribed.
Hepatitis Type A: (infectious)
Age of incidence: Children and young adults
Seasonal Incidence: Fall and Winter
Transmission: Food, water, semen, tears, stools, and possibly urine
Incubation: 15 to 45 days
Serum markers: Antibody to type A hepatitis
Carrier state: NO
Age incidence: Can occur at any age
Seasonal Incidence: Anytime
Transmission: Serum, blood and blood products, and semen
Incubation: 40 to 180 days
Serum markers: Hepatitis B surface antigen and hepatitis B antibodies
Prognosis: Worsens with age
Carrier state: Yes
Age incidence: Adults
Seasonal Incidence: Anytime
Transmission: Serum, blood and blood products, and possibly food
Incubation: 15 to 160 days
Serum markers: -
Carrier state: Unknown
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