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Neonatal hepatitis is an inflammation of the liver tissue in a newborn infant and may be caused 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), and E. Chronic lifelong infection has only been documented with hepatitis B and hepatitis C viruses.

The differential diagnosis of 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], herpes simplex, rubella, varicella, toxoplasmosis, Listeria monocytogenes, syphilis, and tuberculosis, as well as bacterial sepsis, which can cause nonspecific hepatic dysfunction). Table 136–1 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. This chapter will go over neonatal hepatitis caused by Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E.


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