Article Text


Liver morphology in acute viral hepatitis related to the hepatitis B antigen
  1. S. Iwarson,
  2. P. Lundin,
  3. S. Hermodsson
  1. Department of Infectious Diseases, University of Göteborg, Göteborg, Sweden
  2. Department of Pathology I, University of Göteborg, Göteborg, Sweden
  3. Department of Clinical Virology, University of Göteborg, Göteborg, Sweden


    The liver histology in infectious hepatitis or hepatitis A (HA) and serum hepatitis or hepatitis B (HB) is generally described as identical. However, the clinical separation of the two types has been a problem. Today a serological reaction based on the well documented association between hepatitis antigen and HB is of great assistance in the differential diagnosis. The present study of 165 hepatitis cases separated into hepatitis A and B by this test method indicates quantitative differences in the liver histology of the two types. Thus HB was associated with more prominent parenchymal cell damage and Kupffer cell reaction, while intrahepatic cholestasis was found in a significantly higher frequency in cases presumed to represent HA.

    The presence of intrahepatic cholestasis was associated with higher levels of serum bilirubin but otherwise no correlation was found between liver morphology and biochemical liver tests.

    The patients included a group of young intravenous amphetamine addicts with HB. No differences of importance were found histologically in addicts and other patients with hepatitis B.

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    • 1 ( This study was supported by the Swedish Medical Research Council project no. B71 - 21X - 3169-01).

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