Viral hepatitis refers to infections caused by viruses that affect the liver. Viral hepatitis includes five distinct diseases, caused by five different viruses. The different viruses are called by a letter name:
Hepatitis C: What You Need to Know
- If you have hepatitis C, your doctor will want to monitor you for signs of liver cancer.
- Injection drug use is the main cause of hepatitis C.
- Blood tests and a liver biopsy will help diagnose hepatitis C.
- Receiving vaccinations against hepatitis A and B, losing weight and avoiding alcohol may be part of the treatment plan.
Hepatitis C virus is a major cause of acute and chronic hepatitis as well as cirrhosis. Hepatitis C almost always leads to chronic hepatitis and is also associated with hepatocellular carcinoma (liver cancer).
Hepatitis C is mostly caused by injection drug use. Other causes are hemodialysis, intranasal cocaine use, tattoos, body piercing and fetuses exposed during pregnancy. Hepatitis C can be sexually transmitted, but it happens rarely.
Read a more in-depth article about hepatitis C, written by Johns Hopkins gastroenterologists, which details the anatomical description of the causes of hepatitis C.
Read our FAQs about hepatitis C.
Why choose Johns Hopkins Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology for viral hepatitis?
A laparoscopic liver biopsy provides an accurate diagnosis with a minimally invasive procedure..Find out more about liver biopsy.