Hepatitis D Causes Prognosis Symptoms Diagnosis & Treatment
Hepatitis has different types and subtypes. They are different viruses belonging to different families. But they do have something in common, and it is their affinity to the liver tissue. Some of them can only grow in liver cells, while others are a bit more versatile. Regardless, hepatitis viruses are a significant cause of morbidity and mortality worldwide. It causes acute or chronic disease depending on the virus and the patients defenses.
In this article, were reviewing hepatitis D, one of the viruses that cause acute disease. But as you will see next, it can also cause chronic infections with long-term consequences. Were also reviewing the most important exams for hepatitis D patients, the signs and symptoms, and a glimpse of the treatment options.
When To See A Healthcare Provider
Recognizing the signs of infection is crucial in diagnosing hepatitis D and avoiding any serious complications.
If you notice symptoms such as fever, fatigue, nausea, pain in the upper abdomen, dark-colored urine, or jaundice, its important to contact a healthcare professional as soon as possible and accessible. Theyll be able to run blood tests to determine the diagnosis.
Who Is More Likely To Get Hepatitis C
People more likely to get hepatitis C are those who
- have injected drugs
- have been on kidney dialysis
- have been in contact with blood or infected needles at work
- have had tattoos or body piercings
- have worked or lived in a prison
- were born to a mother with hepatitis C
- are infected with HIV
- have had more than one sex partner in the last 6 months or have a history of sexually transmitted disease
- are men who have or had sex with men
In the United States, injecting drugs is the most common way that people get hepatitis C.13
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How Can Hepatitis D Be Prevented
Avoiding hepatitis B infection is the only way to prevent hepatitis D infection. All methods to prevent hepatitis B infection will lead to prevention and reduce the risk of getting hepatitis D.
Getting vaccinated: Vaccination is bliss vaccination of hepatitis B is available. All children should be vaccinated. Adults with a high risk of infection are recommended for vaccination. This vaccination is usually an episode of three consecutive injections over six months.
Be cautious during tattooing and piercing, inquire about the sterilization of the equipment, and make sure they use sterile needles. Go to a trustworthy place.
Stop using drugs, and avoid injectable recreational drugs like heroin and cocaine. Use sterile needles each time in case you are not able to avoid drugs and never share the needle with other people.
Always practice safe sex, and use protection such as condoms. Never have unprotected sex with someone who has been infected by any type of hepatitis or any STDs .
Viral Structure And Life Cycle
Hepatitis D virus viral life cycle and sites of drug target. 1. Hepatitis D virus virion attaches to the hepatocyte via interaction between hepatitis B surface antigen proteins and the sodium taurocholate cotransporting polypeptide , a multiple transmembrane transporter. 2. HDV ribonucleoprotein is translocated to nucleus mediated by the hepatitis D antigen . 3. HDV genome replication occurs via a rolling-circle mechanism. 4. HDV antigenome is transported out of the nucleus to the endoplasmic reticulum . 5. HDV antigenome is translated in the ER into small HDAg and large HDAg . 6. L-HDAg undergoes prenylation prior to assembly. 7. S-HDAg is transported back to the nucleus where it supports HDV replication. 8. New HDAg molecules are associated with new transcripts of genomic RNA to form new RNPs that are exported to the cytoplasm. 9. New HDV RNP associates with hepatitis B virus envelop proteins and assembled into HDV virions. 10. Completed HDV virions are released from the hepatocyte via the trans-Golgi network.
Finally, once the RNP interacts with the envelop protein of HBV and the HDV is assembled, the HDV virion is now ready for release. The HDV virion is released via the trans-Golgi network, where it can go on to infect other hepatocytes. However, the exact mechanism of HDV-virion release remains unknown .
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What Are The Types Of Hepatitis D
Most commonly, there are two types of hepatitis D.They are:
Acute Hepatitis D: It is a short-term infection. The signs and symptoms of acute hepatitis D have more resemblance to any other type of hepatitis and are more severe. Many times the body can cope with the infection, and the virus fades away.
Chronic Hepatitis D: It is a long-lasting infection. The chronic condition occurs when your body fails to fight against the virus, and the virus does not go away. Individuals who have hepatitis B along with D develop more complications and more quickly than people with chronic hepatitis B.
Cirrhosis Of The Liver
Chronic hepatitis D can lead to cirrhosis, which is when the liver slowly breaks down. Scar tissue replaces healthy liver tissue, which blocks the flow of blood. Gradually, the liver is able to function less and less.
If cirrhosis is diagnosed early and the underlying cause is treated, the damage can be halted and in some rare cases, reversed.
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What Are The Most Common Signs And Symptoms Of Hepatitis C
It sounds strange, but there really are no symptoms of hep C. In fact, about half of people with hep C dont even know theyre infected, according to the Mayo Clinic.
Those who do have symptoms may experience minor issues like fatigue and muscle aches, which can be chalked up to any number of reasons, like an intense workout or just life in general. But because these symptoms are so ubiquitous, theyre easy to miss, and you likely wouldnt associate them with hep C.
What Is Hepatitis D Symptoms Causes Diagnosis Treatment And Prevention
Hepatitis D, also known as delta hepatitis affects only those who have been exposed to the hepatitis B virus if you contract both, the one-two punch can cause serious liver problems.
The hepatitis D virus depends on another virus, namely the one that causes hepatitis B, to reproduce itself. This means hepatitis D can only infect people who are already infected with the hepatitis B virus, or who are exposed to hepatitis B at the same time theyre exposed to hepatitis D.
When you are infected with hepatitis B and D at the same time, its called coinfection.
If you already have chronic hepatitis B and are then exposed to the hepatitis D virus, its called a superinfection. In either case, this double whammy can lead to serious problems.
Hepatitis D can cause significant liver damage and even death, so prevention of this dual infection is crucial.
Hepatitis D can cause an acute or chronic infection, or both. The acute infection lasts a short time, and the chronic infection lasts longer than six months.
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Causes Of Hepatitis D
It is a well-known fact that Hepatitis D can exist only on presence of Hepatitis B. So a person afflicted with Hepatitis B is highly susceptible to an infection of Hepatitis D. If not so, then a healthy person is likely to get a combined infection of Hepatitis B and D from person suffering from such dual infection. Such co-infections are self-limiting and acute in nature.
Hepatitis Cases In Children
The number of cases of hepatitis in children has increased recently. Public health doctors and scientists are looking into what could be causing this.
See a GP if your child has symptoms of hepatitis, including yellowing of the eyes and skin .
Good hygiene, including supervising hand washing in young children, can help to prevent infections that can cause hepatitis.
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Immunizations: Hepatitis D Virus
Hepatitis D is a serious liver disease. It is caused by an infection from the hepatitis D virus . Hepatitis D is also known as delta hepatitis.
The illness can be acute or chronic. That means the illness can either cause serious short-term health problems or could cause life-long illness that affects you for the rest of your life. Hepatitis D cases are rare in the United States.
Hepatitis D is an incomplete virus. It needs help from the hepatitis B virus to infect people. Hepatitis D only infects people who have the hepatitis B virus.
Is The Hepatitis D Vaccine Available
No vaccine is available for hepatitis D. A vaccine for hepatitis B is available, which can, in turn, be helpful in preventing hepatitis D also.
Hepatitis D is a serious condition that can result in serious life-threatening complications. Hepatitis D infection is also termed Delta virus infection. If you are diagnosed with hepatitis D, make healthy choices, and eat a proper healthy diet to protect your liver from further damage. Inform your dentist before taking any dental treatments to avoid the spread of the infection and also avoid coming in close contact with other healthy people to avoid its spread. Chronic hepatitis B can lead to chronic liver infection and can lead to end-stage liver disease and associated complications like accelerated fibrosis, hepatocellular carcinoma, and liver decompensation.
Query:Hello doctor,Two years back, after a routine blood test I was diagnosed with fatty liver due to raised liver enzymes ALT 53 ALP 66 and GGT188. I later underwent a liver scan and the conclusion was Child A Cirrhosis-possibly secondary to NASH. Advised to lose weight with no medication prescribed. Y… Read Full Â»
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How Do You Get It
HAV can be present in the stool and blood of someone with the virus. Its mainly transmitted through the fecal-oral route, which involves ingesting virus thats present in the stool of someone with hepatitis A.
There are several ways you can get hepatitis A:
- having close person-to-person contact with someone who has hepatitis A, such as:
- taking care of someone whos currently sick
- having sex with someone who has the virus
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Finding Help For Hepatitis
If youve been diagnosed with viral hepatitis, there are a variety of resources that are available to help you. Lets explore a few of them below:
- Your doctor. Your doctor is a great first point of contact for questions and concerns. They can help you to better understand the type of hepatitis you have, as well as how it will be treated.
- American Liver Foundation . ALF is dedicated to ending liver disease through education, research, and advocacy. Their site has educational material about viral hepatitis, as well as ways to find doctors, support groups, and clinical trials in your area.
- Patient assistance programs. If you have hepatitis C, the cost of antiviral drugs can be high. The good news is that many drug manufacturers have patient assistance programs that can help you pay for these medications.
The chart below is an at-a-glance summary of some of the key differences between hepatitis A, B, and C.
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Enhancing Healthcare Team Outcomes
Hepatitis D only occurs in patients with hepatitis B. Thus, healthcare workers, including the nurse practitioner should consider serological testing for HDV in patients with hepatitis B. This can be obtained by detection of total anti-HDV antibody followed by confirmatory staining for HDAg in liver tissues and/or measurement of serum HDV RNA. As HBV replication is suppressed in chronic HDV infection, hepatitis B e-antibodies are typically present.
As HDV depends on HBV, prevention can be achieved with hepatitis B vaccination. If the host is immune to HBV, they are subsequently protected against HDV. Patients who are at risk of contracting HDV infection should be encouraged to receive the hepatitis B vaccine.
At the moment there is no specific treatment for hepatitis D but unlike hepatitis B, the former is a benign infection.
What Should Be Done After A Person Is Exposed To Hcv
- Follow-up of occupational HCV exposures:
- Perform anti-HCV testing of source patient.
- For the person exposed to an HCV-positive source:
- Perform baseline testing for anti-HCV, ALT activity, with follow-up testing at 4-6 months .
- Confirm all positive anti-HCV results obtained by enzyme immunoassay using HCV RNA testing.
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Hiv And Hepatitis C Coinfection
HCV infection is common among people with HIV who also inject drugs. Nearly 75% of people living with HIV who report a history of injection drug use are co-infected with HCV. All people who are diagnosed with HIV are recommended to be tested for HCV at least once. People living with HIV are at greater risk for complications and death from HCV infection. Fortunately, direct acting antivirals that are used to treat HCV work equally well in people with and without HIV infection. For more information about HIV and HCV coinfection, visit the HIV.govs pages about hepatitis C and HIV coinfection.
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Chronic Hepatitis C Symptoms
If you donât get diagnosed and treated, you could have the disease for years and not know it. Doctors call this the chronic form, because it lasts a long time. Some people whove had it for a while get scarring of the liver, which is called cirrhosis. or liver cancer.
In addition to the above symptoms, signs that your liver isnât working the way it should include:
- Ascites fluid buildup in your belly
- Hepatic encephalopathy confusion, drowsiness, and slurred speech
- Jaundice of the skin
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Signs And Symptoms Of Hepatitis D
People who have acute hepatitis D usually have symptoms, which can include the following:
- Fatigue and lethargy
- Jaundice, which causes a yellowish tint to the whites of the eyes and skin
- Discolored stools and urine
- Pain over the liver, in the upper part of the abdomen
In contrast, the majority of people with chronic hepatitis D will have few symptoms until complications develop. This could be several years after the initial infection. These symptoms can include the following:
- Weakness and fatigue
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Preventing The Spread Of Hepatitis C
There is no vaccine available to prevent a person from being infected with hepatitis C. Recommended behaviours to prevent the spread of the virus include:
- Always use sterile injecting equipment. This can be accessed from your local needle and syringe program service.
- Avoid sharing personal items such as toothbrushes, razors, nail files or nail scissors, which can draw blood.
- If you are involved in body piercing, tattooing, electrolysis or acupuncture, always ensure that any instrument that pierces the skin is either single use or has been cleaned, disinfected and sterilised since it was last used.
- If you are a healthcare worker, follow standard precautions at all times.
- Wherever possible, wear single-use gloves if you give someone first aid or clean up blood or body fluids.
- Although hepatitis C is not generally considered to be a sexually transmissible infection in Australia, you may wish to consider safe sex practices if blood is going to be present, or if your partner has HIV infection. You may wish to further discuss this issue and personal risks with your doctor.
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How Is Hepatitis D Diagnosed
Doctors may suspect a person has hepatitis D when the symptoms of acute hepatitis B are unusually severe, chronic hepatitis B gets worse much faster than usual, or when chronic hepatitis B suddenly gets much worse, which would indicate a superinfection.
If hepatitis D is suspected, the doctor will take a medical history to understand factors that may have led to the infection. A physical exam will look for signs of liver damage, which could include jaundice, swelling in the feet or ankles, and swelling or tenderness in the abdomen.
If its suspected that a person may have hepatitis D, a blood test that confirms the presence of the antibodies that are produced in response to the infection is required to confirm the diagnosis.
There may be additional tests to determine if there is liver damage as a result of hepatitis B and hepatitis D. The tests can include the following:
- An elastography, a special ultrasound that can measure the stiffness of the liver
- A liver biopsy, in which a long needle is used to take a small piece of tissue that will be examined under a microscope to look for signs of disease or damage
- A blood test to measure liver enzyme levels, elevated levels of which often indicate inflammation or damage to the liver cells