Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver most commonly caused by any of a group of viruses, but which may also be caused by toxic substances, such as drugs, chemicals, alcohol and environmental toxins.
Hepatitis C virus (HCV) affects about 28,000 people every year and as many as 3.9 million Americans are chronic carriers of the virus. It is estimated that 20% or more of persons with chronic hepatitis C develop cirrhosis, a process that takes 10-20 years.
HCV has the unique ability to cause persistent infection and 70-80% of infected persons become chronic carriers, although most have relatively mild disease with slow progression. The long-term outcome varies significantly for persons with HCV and there is currently no way to determine who will recover or who will develop chronic disease.
Treatment Hepatitis C usually consists of medications, but liver transplant may be appropriate in some cases.
The Medifocus Guide on Hepatitis C provides answers to the following important questions and medical issues:
What are the most common symptoms of Hepatitis C?
Are there any recognized risk factors for developing Hepatitis C?
What kinds of medical tests are used to establish the diagnosis of Hepatitis C?
What is the current standard of care for the treatment of Hepatitis C?
What treatment options are available for the management of Hepatitis C?
Are there any promising new developments or potential breakthroughs in treatment?
Who are the most notable medical authorities who specialize in Hepatitis C?
Where are the leading hospitals and centers of research for Hepatitis C?
What are the most important questions to ask my doctor about Hepatitis C?
What Your Doctor Reads:
This MediFocus Guide contains an extensive listing of citations and abstracts of recent journal articles that have been published about this condition in trustworthy medical journals. This is the same type of information that is available to physicians and other health care professionals. A partial selection of journal articles that are abstracted in this MediFocus Guide includes:
Hepatitis C infection: opportunity for exposure in many settings. Medicine & Health, Rhode Island. 2000
Renal disease associated with hepatitis C infection after kidney and liver transplantation. Transplantation. 2000
Appropriateness of liver biopsy. Canadian Journal of Gastroenterology. 2000
Risk and management of blood-borne infections in health care workers. Clinical Microbiology Reviews. 2000
Hepatitis C: the silent epidemic. Harvard Mens Health Watch. 2000
Immunogenetics of hepatitis C virus. Journal of Viral Hepatitis. 2000
Transplantation in the patient with hepatitis C. Journal of the American Society of Nephrology. 2000
Liver biopsy in Irish hepatitis C-infected patients with inherited bleeding disorders. British Journal of Haematology. 2000
Hepatitis C, interferon alfa, and depression. Hepatology. 2000
Who's afraid of hepatitis C?. American Journal of Nursing. 2000
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