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Alternative Names Return to topPersistent hepatitis; Hepatitis - persistent; Chronic lobular hepatitis; Mild chronic hepatitis
Definition Return to top
Chronic persistent hepatitis is mild liver inflammation that may be caused by various viruses and conditions.
See also: Hepatitis
Causes Return to top
Chronic persistent hepatitis can be caused by:
Symptoms Return to top
Exams and Tests Return to top
Treatment Return to top
Treatment is not always needed and depends on the underlying cause of the hepatitis. Each case should be reviewed to determine whether treatment would be helpful. New therapies for chronic viral infections are now able to stop or reverse some liver damage caused by certain viruses.
Outlook (Prognosis) Return to top
Most people recover from symptoms of chronic hepatitis. However, if the condition is caused by a virus such as HCV that can cause progressive liver damage, the hepatitis may worsen and cause severe liver scarring, liver failure, and potentially death.
Possible Complications Return to top
Progression to liver failure is uncommon with many causes of chronic hepatitis. However, people with viral hepatitis or depressed immune systems, including those with HIV, are at higher risk.
When to Contact a Medical Professional Return to top
Call for an appointment with your health care provider if symptoms of hepatitis worsen or persist.
Prevention Return to top
Persons in high-risk groups, such as health care workers, can receive a hepatitis B immunization. Practicing safe sex can reduce your risk of getting hepatitis through sexual contact.
Intravenous drug users should seek addiction treatment and avoid sharing needles and other injection-related materials. You may contract hepatitis by touching an infected person's IV drug supplies. Several forms of viral hepatitis spready much more easily through the blood than HIV, and the viruses can live for hours, even in dried blood.Update Date: 9/24/2008 Updated by: David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.