Pathophysiology: Hepatitis refers to an inflammatory disease which is fairly common and mainly affects the liver. Viral hepatitis is classified as A, B, C, D, E and G. All types of hepatitis viruses cause similar kind of liver damage. Inflammation happens throughout whole liver and hepatocytes are destroyed by cytotoxic cytokines and natural killer cells being part of inflammatory process. Cellular necrosis takes place but liver usually able to repair itself and regain complete function if no other complications occur.
Disease Statistics: Hepatitis C is the leading cause of chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and liver cancer in Argentina, where from 1.5% to 2.5% of adults are infected. In Argentina, a sharp reduction in the infection rate was reached by the introduction of a universal HAV vaccination program in 2005. The current prevalence of HBsAg and anti-HCV in Argentina is relatively low. Chorincity of HBV rate in below 10% and occurs mostly during adulthood.
Treatment: Intravenous rehydration is given as supportive care but no specific emergency treatment is recommended as such. Patients are admitted in conditions of severe complications. Evaluation for hepatic encephalopathy is done. Certain patients may benefit from pharmacologic therapy. Patients are advised to avoid prolonged or vigorous physical exertion until their symptoms improve and maintain adequate hydration.
Research: The major research happening is mainly related to the prevalence and protection from Hepatitis B, C and D in Argentina. Some major institutes and hospitals involved are Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, Buenos Aires; Universidad de Buenos Aires, Cátedra de Virología, Buenos Aires and Centro regional de Hemoterapia Jujuy, San Salvador de Jujuy.