Chinese Medical Information Portal Website (Taiwan Medical Network-TMN) - OldDoc Wu's Series
(Established in March 1996)
Chronic hepatitis (Definition)
Dr. Wu's Liver diseases
for professionals (medical students and residents)

(by Jau-Shin WU, M.D., Ph.D.)
(Posted Sep. 16, 1996; Updated May 14, 2009)


Chronic hepatitis (Definition)

(Key words: chronic hepatitis, definition, syndrome)

For consumers:

For professionals:


  1. Syndrome:
    • It is not a single disease, but rather a clinical and pathological syndrome.

  2. Causes:
    • Viral, drug, autoimmune, unclassified, and specific types.

  3. Charaterized by:
    • varing degree of hepatocellular necrosis and inflammation:
      • ----- grading and staging (clinical, morphological)

    • Chronicity:
      • A continuing disease without improvement.
      • It requires a time factor of at least six months duration including both clinical and laboratory features, but not a histological change.
      • Sometimes, diagnosis has already been made and therapy begun before such a time requirement.

    • Specific types are also included: (PBC, PSC, Wilson's d., \1-antitrypsin deficiency)

    • Alcohol abuse: not included ----- different histological pattern.

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(By Jau-Shin Wu, M.D.; Posted Sep. 16, 1996; Revised May 12, 2009)

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