Hepatitis is the medical term used to describe inflammation of the liver. Depending on the cause and investigation results, it can be mild or may lead to more serious condition.
There are many possible causes of hepatitis. Examples include viral hepatitis (such as Hepatitis B), alcohol induced, antibody related (such as autoimmune hepatitis) and many others.
Symptoms are generally non-specific such as fever, tiredness, poor appetite etc. Some patients may be completely asymptomatic. Liver function test (blood test) will show evidence of liver inflammation (raised liver enzymes).
Hepatitis is most commonly encountered during routine blood investigations at primary care setting (GPs, family physicians). A thorough history and physical examination will be performed to guide the doctor on further evaluation. Patients are usually referred to see a specialist if hepatitis is severe, the cause of hepatitis is uncertain and there are signs such as fever or jaundice that may indicate a more serious form of hepatitis.
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