Hepatitis B

Hepatitis B is caused by the hepatitis B virus, that leads to the infection and inflammation of the liver. There are two types: Acute, which can be treated on its own and Chronic, which is a serious condition, leading to liver cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Hepatitis B is a universal health condition. Around 887,000 people died from HBV-related liver disease in 2015 and between 850,000 and 2.2 million people in the United States (U.S.) are thought to be living with chronic HBV infection. In 2014, 2,953 cases  of acute HBV were reported to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), but the actual number might be as high as 19,200.

HBV does not lead to serious consequences among adults. It is short-termed, and does not lead to permanent damage. However, 2%-6% adults are struck by chronic HBV, that can lead to liver cancer.

. There is no cure for HBV, but immunization can prevent initial infection. Moreover, medications that are anti-viral are known to treat infections.

Causes:

The hepatitis B virus is present in blood and bodily fluids. It can be transmitted from one body to another by various means and cause HBV.

  • Through semen, vaginal fluids, and blood.
  • It can be transmitted from a mother to a newborn during delivery.
  • Sharing needles, syringes and drug-injection equipment.
  • Having unprotected sex.
  • Unsafe tattoo techniques
  • By sharing personal hygiene items such as razors or toothbrushes

Symptoms:

  • Pain on the right side of the abdomen.
  • Jaundice or yellowing of eyes.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Pain in the joints.
  • Dark-coloured urine.
  • Stool that are grey or pale coloured.

Diagnosis:

  • A blood test is recommended by the doctor to diagnose acute and chronic Hepatitis B virus.
  • The following table gives the usual interpretation for sets of results from hepatitis B blood (serological) tests.
Most Likely Status* Tests Results
Susceptible, not infected, not immune HBsAg
anti-HBc
anti-HBs
negative
negative
negative
Immune due to natural infection HBsAg
anti-HBc
anti-HBs
negative
positive
positive
Immune due to hepatitis B vaccination HBsAg
anti-HBc
anti-HBS
negative
negative
positive
Acutely infected HBsAg
anti-HBc
IgM anti-HBc
anti-HBs
positive
positive
positive
negative
Chronically infected HBsAg
anti-HBc
IgM anti-HBc
anti-HBs
positive
positive
negative
negative

 

  • Liver biopsy: This involves extracting a tissue of liver and examining it.

Treatment:

  • Patients who are exposed to another individual’s potentially infected blood or body fluid can undergo a post-exposure “prophylaxis” protocol. This consists of HBV vaccination and HBIG given after the person is exposed and before acute infection develops.
  • Patients with chronic HBV can be treated with an antiviral medication like include antiviraldrugs lamivudine (Epivir), adefovir (Hepsera), tenofovir(Viread), telbivudine (Tyzeka) and entecavir (Baraclude), and the two immune system modulators interferon alpha-2a and PEGylated interferon alpha-2a (Pegasys).
  • Liver transplant is required in cases of chronic hepatitis B virus, if the liver is damaged due to cirrhosis.

Life after surgery:

Liver transplants are usually a great success. According to the most recent year computed UNOS/OPTN (2004) national average one-year graft survival at 83%, and patient survival at 87% for patients receiving a deceased donor liver and 92% for those transplanted with an organ from a living donor.

After a liver transplant, a patient is recommended to stay in the I.C.U for a few days and then later shifted to the transplant recovery area for 5-10 days. The patient can then go back to normal day-to-day activities. Regular follow-ups are advised and patients have to take the medicines for lifetime.

 

Risks involved:

Risks involved in a liver transplant include:

  • Organ rejection.
  • Failure of the donated liver.
  • Clots of blood.
  • Bile duct leaks.
  • Shrinking of bile ducts.
  • Long-term complications may also include recurrence of liver disease in the transplanted liver.

Prognosis:

Children are less likely than adults to clear the infection. More than 95% of people who become infected as adults or older children will stage a full recovery and develop protective immunity to the virus. However, this drops to 30% for younger children, and only 5% of newborns that acquire the infection from their mother at birth will clear the infection. This population has a 40% lifetime risk of death from cirrhosis or hepatocellular carcinoma. Of those infected between the age of one to six, 70% will clear the infection.

Cost:

HBV can cost $36 per person for full treatment for a year.

In the late 90s, when the first successful liver transplants were done in India, the procedure cost Rs.20 lakh. Now, a resection costs between Rs.3 and 4 lakh and a transplant Rs.20-25 lakh in a private hospital.

 

New Life Clinics offers a low-risk way to treat Liver Cirrhosis. Our team of experienced and skilled doctors make life at hospital a painless one and guarantee a speedy recovery.

 

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