Clinical Services: Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Upper East Side
1283 York Avenue, 9th Floor
New York, NY 10065
(646) 962-5483

Hepatitis is when there is inflammation of the liver, usually due to a virus, but it can be from other things such as medications or an autoimmune disease. The most prevalent viruses that cause hepatitis in the United Stare are hepatitis A, B and C. Weill Cornell Medicine offers the most advanced diagnostic and treatment procedures for patients with all forms of hepatitis.

The key to effective disease management of hepatitis is coordinated care among specialty-trained physicians. Treatment is enforced through strict standards of practice, treatment protocols, close coordination of care with referring physicians and providing the most advanced and scientifically based approaches to the management of hepatitis. 

Treatment for hepatitis varies, depending on the type and severity of the disease:

Hepatitis A

Hepatitis A is the most common form of viral hepatitis. The disease is acquired from contaminated food or water. In healthy individuals, it causes an acute illness with fever, loss of appetite and jaundice lasting two to three weeks. Complete recovery is the rule, followed by life-long immunity to the virus. In people with pre-existing advanced liver disease, acute hepatitis A tends to be severe and can be fatal.


Hepatitis B

Acquired through exposure to the blood or secretions of an infected person, hepatitis B also can be transmitted through sexual contact. Newborns may acquire it at the time of birth from a mother with active hepatitis B. 

Adults who contract hepatitis B have an acute illness that ranges from very mild, with flu-like symptoms only, to nausea, abdominal pain and jaundice.

Most people with the condition recover and develop immunity, but 5 percent to 10 percent of adults become persistently infected, and have the potential to infect others. For infants who are exposed at birth and do not receive treatment, the rate of chronic infection is much higher. People with long-standing active hepatitis B, spanning more than 20 years, are at risk of developing liver cancer.

Although there is no cure for hepatitis B, in certain people, medications can be used to control the virus and prevent damage to the liver.


Hepatitis C

Hepatitis C is usually spread through contact with infected blood. It can either be acute or become chronic and even life threatening. There is no vaccine for hepatitis C.

The acute illness is frequently very mild. However, many people fail to clear the virus, such that about 70 percent become chronically infected. An estimated 4 million Americans have hepatitis C, many of whom are unaware of their condition. As the disease progresses, the first sign may be nothing more than decreased energy. As the liver disease becomes significant, patients may experience retention of fluid, causing swelling of the ankles and increased weight, internal bleeding and confusion. 

There is very effective and easy treatment for hepatitis C and in some cases, cure can be achieved in as little as 8 weeks!


Other Causes of Hepatitis

A variety of other viruses, medications, autoimmune conditions and genetic disorders can also lead to hepatitis. Our team of experts can help diagnose, evaluate and treat these conditions as well.

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