IAN MACKAY, M.D.
What is chronic hepatitis? The answer would be, "several ill-defined conditions, differing in cause, course, and outcome." In particular, there is much uncertainty over the pathogenic significance of the hepatitis-B antigen (HBAg) (1). Thus the prognosis for "chronic hepatitis" cannot be specified without reviewing the connotations of this term.
It has been long recognized that "acute" infectious hepatitis in adults can be a protracted or relapsing illness. The most recent study (2), in 1967-1969, on American soldiers showed that as many as 20% of those who developed acute endemic hepatitis had relapses during the subsequent year
MACKAY I. The Prognoses of Chronic Hepatitis. Ann Intern Med. ;77:649–651. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-77-4-649
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Published: Ann Intern Med. 1972;77(4):649-651.
Gastroenterology/Hepatology, Liver Disease.
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