Acute liver failure is a condition in which the vital functions of the liver shut down. When that occurs, a liver transplant is necessary to sustain life.
Today is the World Hepatitis Day.
Having a chronic HBV infection can lead to serious complications. Such infections include the following:
1. Scarring of the liver (cirrhosis). The inflammation associated with a hepatitis B infection can lead to extensive liver scarring (cirrhosis), which may impair the liver’s ability to function.
2. Liver cancer. People with chronic hepatitis B infection have an increased risk of liver cancer.
3. Liver failure. Acute liver failure is a condition in which the vital functions of the liver shut down. When that occurs, a liver transplant is necessary to sustain life.
4. Other conditions. People with chronic hepatitis B may develop kidney disease or inflammation of blood vessels.
Experts at America-based Mayo Clinic say that hepatitis B infection may be either short-lived (acute) or long lasting (chronic).
Acute hepatitis B infection lasts less than six months. “Your immune system likely can clear acute hepatitis B from your body, and you should recover completely within a few months,” the physicians say; warning that most people who get hepatitis B as adults have an acute infection, but it can lead to chronic infection.
However, chronic hepatitis B infection lasts six months or longer. It lingers because the victim’s immune system can’t fight off the infection.
“Chronic hepatitis B infection may last a lifetime, possibly leading to serious illnesses such as cirrhosis and liver cancer,” the doctors say.
The younger you are when you get hepatitis B — particularly newborns or children younger than five years of age — the higher your risk of the infection becoming chronic. “Chronic infection may go undetected for decades until a person becomes seriously ill from liver disease,” the doctors warn.