Hepatitis is the inflammation of the liver. It can be caused by a variety of viruses such as Hepatitis A, B, C, D and E Virus. Hepatitis is characterised by jaundice, enlarged liver, fever, fatigue and abnormal liver function tests. Hepatitis can also be due to toxins (notably alcohol) other infections or from autoimmune process.
Hepatitis (plural hepatitides) implies injury to the liver characterized by the presence of inflammatory cells in the tissue of the organ. The condition can be self-limiting, healing on its own or can progress to scarring of the liver. It may run a subclinical course when the affected person may not feel ill. The patient becomes unwell and symptomatic when the disease impairs liver functions that include, among other things, removal of harmful substances, regulation of blood composition and production of bile to help digestion.
Hepatitis is acute when it lasts less than six months and chronic when it persists longer. It may run a subclinical course when the affected person may not feel ill.