6. What are the characteristics of a healthy liver?
This is the diagram of a healthy liver and is
made up of cells in a skeletal structure of fibrous tissue. In the normal liver, the cells are in between
the fibrous tissue - which you can barely see in this slide
- which is the psuedostructure of the cells
are based in. When the virus attacks the liver you get
inflammation the same as you would get a sore on your hand with
inflammatory cells. The inflammatory cells are an immune
reaction to the virus and stimulate the production of scar tissue and
this is where the problem comes in. So, first you get a killing of the liver
cells from the acute hepatitis and if you get all your liver cells
knocked out, you get what’s called fulminant hepatic failure and you
die. Fortunately this doesn’t happen very
often. The average Western person is able to mount
an immune response because they get the disease in
adulthood. Their liver blood tests or liver enzyme
tests will go up, and then the body’s immune reaction will overcome
the virus and eventually it will get better. By definition most people get better within
four to six months. And these people are getting over acute
hepatitis. They have malaise, fatigue; you know they
really feel crummy because fatigue is a major aspect clinically of
liver disease. They may turn yellow but they don’t have
to. But they get over it over a period of months
- and that’s a classic immune competent adult. After the six months is over and all their
liver tests are back to normal, you can test their blood and see the
virus is gone from their blood.
5. What is the progression of the viral cell?
7. What is and what causes fibrosis of the liver?