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Hepatitis may be produced by many infectious and noninfectious agents. Typically, viral hepatitis refers to several clinically similar diseases that differ in cause and epidemiology. These include hepatitis A, B, C, D (delta), E, and G. Chronic, lifelong infection has only been documented with hepatitis B virus (HBV) and hepatitis C (HCV) virus.

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The differential diagnosis of a newborn liver disease includes idiopathic neonatal hepatitis (giant cell), biliary atresia, metabolic disorders, antitrypsin deficiency, cystic fibrosis, iron storage disease, and other infectious agents that cause hepatocellular injury (eg, cytomegalovirus [CMV], rubella, varicella, toxoplasmosis, Listeria, syphilis, and tuberculosis, as well as bacterial sepsis, which can cause nonspecific hepatic dysfunction). Table 87–1 outlines various hepatitis panel tests useful in the management of this disease. Isolation precautions for all infectious diseases, including maternal and neonatal precautions, breast-feeding, and visiting issues, can be found in Appendix F.

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Table 87–1. HEPATITIS TESTING
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  1. I. Definition. Hepatitis A virus (HAV;infectious hepatitis) is caused by a RNA virus transmitted by the fecal-oral route. A high concentration of virus is found in stools of infected persons, especially during the late incubation and early symptomatic phases. Children, especially neonates, may excrete HAV for a more prolonged period than has been noted in ...

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