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 B has been one of the major problems in the country but prevalence drastically reduced in the nation. Southern Italy shows the highest rates of liver cancer with prevalence and determinants of HCV and HBV infections.
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: Majority of research work is narrowed to two main strain of Hepatitis (B and C). Major research institutes include Institute of Hygiene and Preventive Medicine, University of Genoa; Registro Tumori della Regione Campania, Naples.