Symptoms and causes

What is it?

Hepatitis A, B, C, D, E viruses, CMV (cytomegalia virus) and the Epstein-Barr virus (glandular fever) are well-known diseases. They can cause an acute condition that heals completely within a few weeks with the aid of a person's own immune system.

They sometimes evolve into a chronic inflammation that no longer heals spontaneously. Because after decades some of these inflammations thoroughly affect the architecture of the liver through scar tissue (fibrosis), they can lead to liver cirrhosis, sometimes a life-threatening condition. That is why these conditions must be properly monitored and, where possible, treated with medication. Science has already enabled several victories against these conditions.

Treatment?

Treating chronic hepatitis B and C with interferon and anti-viral drugs in particular is becoming increasingly successful. When medication no longer helps and the liver function becomes too weak after a long-term illness, the diseased liver can be replaced with a liver transplant. Liver transplants are only performed at some university centres in Belgium.

Latest publication date: 21/01/2021