Adefovir (Hepsera): 食品藥物管理局 (FDA) 于2002年9月核准的一種治療慢性乙型肝炎的口服藥。
丙氨酸轉氨酶 (ALT): 一項用來檢測肝細胞受損程度的重要檢查。對所有慢性乙型肝炎患者的定期監測都包括ALT檢測數值；在决定患者是否適宜治療或在評估某項現行治療的療效時，此項檢查亦十分有用。
甲胎蛋白 (AFP): 懷孕時或有癌細胞出現時分泌入血液的一種蛋白質。該蛋白濃度的增加可能表示肝臟發生癌變，因此醫生要指定作此項檢測。
e-抗體 (HBeAb 或anti-HBe)：此抗體因ｅ抗原（見下條）的出現而産生，幷可見于乙型肝炎康復患者和有慢性感染的患者中間。但該抗體幷不能抵禦乙型肝炎病毒。
e-抗原 (HBeAg)： 由乙型肝炎病毒生成的一種蛋白質。此驗血項常與慢性感染有關，幷被認定爲活動性乙型肝炎指針。
食品藥物管理局 (FDA)： 核准施用于人體藥物的美國聯邦機構。
乙型肝炎： 由乙型肝炎病毒（HBV）引起。患染者中約10% 的成年人演變爲慢性乙型肝炎患者；患染HBV女性産下的新生兒中有90%會出現慢性感染。該病毒傳染主要經由血液、 無保護性行爲、共享針筒、以及由母親在分娩時傳染給新生兒。HBV可采用一種安全疫苗來預防。
HBIG (乙型肝炎免疫球蛋白)：須立即（或于２４小時之內）給予接觸過乙型肝炎病毒者的一種藥物。例如，患染HBV母親的新生兒應接受HBIG ，幷在出生後的１２個小時內接受第一針HBV疫苗以便預防慢性感染。
1. 乙型肝炎表面抗原(HBsAg)： 此蛋白質數值被用作發現感染的指標。如驗血結果呈陽性，則表示有乙型肝炎病毒存在。
2. 乙型肝炎表面抗體(HBsAb或anti-HBs)： 此抗體因注射疫苗或乙型肝炎感染痊愈後形成。如化驗結果爲陽性，則表示對乙型肝炎有抵抗力。
3. 乙型肝炎表面抗體 (HBcAb或anti-HBc)： 可說明過去或現有感染的指標。該抗體對HBV不具保護作用。此化驗項常被血庫用來篩查血液捐贈。陽性結果表示受測人接觸過乙型肝炎病毒，但乙型肝炎病狀須經HBsAg和 anti-HBs（見前文）結果的確認。
乙型肝炎 e-抗體 (HBeAb或anti-HBe)：此抗體因ｅ抗原（見下條）的出現而産生，幷可見于乙型肝炎康復患者和有慢性感染的患者中間。但該抗體幷不能抵禦乙型肝炎病毒。
乙型肝炎e-抗原 (HBeAg): 由乙型肝炎病毒生成的一種蛋白質。此項指標常與慢性感染有關，幷被認定爲活動性乙型肝炎指標。
肝癌 (HCC)： 謂指肝臟癌症。世界上所有肝癌病例的80%是由慢性乙型肝炎感染引起。
乙型肝炎核心抗體IgM（IgM anti-HBc）： 可說明現有或最近乙型肝炎感染的指標。陽性化驗結果表示感染期不超過六個月。
Interferon Alpha-2b (Intron A)： 一種模仿身體産生的抗感染物質的藥物。此藥作爲第一種治療慢性乙型肝炎的藥物于１９９１年被獲准上市。該藥每周可注射數次。可供成人和兩歲以上幼兒使用。
Peg Interferon Alfa-2a (Pegasys): 爲另一種干擾素藥物。此藥于2005年5月獲准用來治療慢性乙型肝炎，每周注射一次，而且比interferon alpha的副作用要少。
Lamivudine (Epivir-HBV, Zeffix, Heptodin)： 一種可以减緩或停止乙型肝炎病毒複製的藥物。此藥爲第二種治療慢性乙型肝炎的藥物，幷于１９９８年被獲准上市。此藥爲口服藥片，每日服用一片，成人和兒童均可使用。
肝臟活檢（Liver Biopsy）： 采用特殊針刺法對肝纖維作切片。切片在顯微鏡下接受檢查以便查看肝臟是否受損。
肝功能檢查 (LFT’s)： 指一組用來評估肝功能的血清化驗，如ALT濃度。化驗結果可用于診斷和監測慢性乙型肝炎和其它肝病。
聚合酶DNA（Polymerase DNA）： 一種複製乙型肝炎病毒的關鍵性物質。現有抗HBV病毒類藥物大多以干擾ＤＮＡ聚合酶來阻止病毒複製。
Acute Hepatitis Infection: A new, suddenly
occurring infection. It occurs with a person’s first exposure
to the hepatitis B virus.
Adefovir dipivoxil (Hepsera): An oral nucleoside
analogue drug that interferes with the replication of the hepatitis
B virus (e.g. it can slow down or stop the virus from reproducing).
It was approved for chronic hepatitis B in September 2002.
Albumin: A protein made in the liver that assists
in maintaining blood volume in the arteries and veins. If the
liver is damaged, then the albumin can drop to very low levels,
which may cause fluid to leak into the tissues from the blood
vessels, resulting in edema or swelling. In acute liver failure,
there is an accumulation of fluid in the abdomen that is known
Alpha-fetoprotein (AFP): A protein secreted
into the blood during pregnancy or when cancer cells are present.
Increased levels may indicate the development of liver cancer,
which is why the simple AFP blood test is included in the regular
monitoring of those which chronic HBV.
Antibody: A protein molecule produced
by the immune system in response to a foreign body, such as the
hepatitis B virus. Antibodies can be produced in response to
a vaccine or to a natural infection. They circulate in the blood
to protect against future infections.
Anti-HCV (antibody to hepatitis C virus):
The antibody produced against the hepatitis C virus (HCV). Its
presence in the bloodstream often indicates HCV infection.
This antibody has not been shown to protect people against
Antigen: A protein on the surface of
a virus, bacteria or cell that can stimulate the immune system
to produce antibodies as a defense mechanism.
Ascites: A large, abnormal accumulation
of fluid in the abdomen that can occur due to liver failure,
cirrhosis and liver cancer. This condition requires immediate
Asymptomatic: Refers to infection or
disease without signs of illness. Many patients with hepatitis
B or C do not have any symptoms during a new or chronic infection;
they are considered to be asymptomatic.
Bilirubin: The liver usually clears this end
product of hemoglobin (the portion of the red blood cell that
carries oxygen in the blood) when it normally breaks down. If
the liver is damaged and bilirubin accumulates in the blood,
a person can become jaundiced (yellowed eyes and skin).
Bloodborne Pathogens: Substances present
in the blood that can cause infection or disease. Hepatitis B
and hepatitis C viruses are bloodborne pathogens since they are
spread through blood and can cause a liver infection.
Carcinoma: A new growth or malignant
tumor that can occur throughout the body (e.g. hepatocellular
carcinoma refers to liver cancer).
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): This
federal organization is concerned with the prevention and control
of communicable diseases such as hepatitis B and C. It conducts
extensive research and provides information about public health
Chronic Hepatitis B Infection: A patient
who tests positive for the hepatitis B virus for more than 6
months is considered to have a chronic hepatitis B infection.
Cirrhosis: A serious liver condition
characterized by irreversible scarring of the liver that can
lead to liver failure and death. Alcohol and chronic viral hepatitis
(such as chronic hepatitis B and C) can cause continuous inflammation
of the liver, which can lead to excess scar formation or fibrosis.
Scarring results in the loss of liver cells and impairs liver
Clinical Trials: Carefully controlled
studies that are conducted in humans who volunteer to test the
effectiveness and safety of new drugs, medical products or techniques.
All drugs in the United States undergo three phases of clinical
trials before being approved for general use.
Clotting Factors: Proteins made in the liver
that are important in maintaining normal blood clotting. Disruption
in the blood's ability to clot may indicate that the liver is
not creating enough clotting factors. A severe shortage in clotting
factors may indicate that a liver transplant is needed.
Complete Blood Count (CBC): A test that measures
the number of red blood cells, white blood cells, the amount
of hemoglobin, hematocrit, and platelets. Low white blood cell
and platelet counts may indicate liver scarring.
Complications: New medical problems that
arise while treating existing ones.
DNA Polymerase: An enzyme essential to the
replication of the hepatitis B virus. Most of the current antiviral
drugs used against HBV interfere with the DNA polymerase in order
to stop the virus from reproducing.
Decompensated Cirrhosis: A late-stage cirrhosis
accompanied by abnormal blood tests and other complications.
At this stage of the disease, evaluation for liver transplant
becomes an option.
E-Antibody (HBeAb or anti-HBe): Produced by
the immune system temporarily during acute HBV infection or consistently
during or after a burst in viral replication. Spontaneous conversion
from e-antigen to e-antibody (a change known as "seroconversion")
is a predictor of long-term clearance of HBV in patients undergoing
Encephalopathy: Serious brain function
abnormalities experienced by some patients with advanced liver
disease. Symptoms most commonly include confusion, disorientation,
insomnia, and may progress to a coma.
Entecavir: An oral nucloeside analogue drug
that interferes with the replication of the hepatitis B virus
(e.g. it can slow down or stop the virus from reproducing). It
was the third oral drug approved for chronic hepatitis B in April
Enzymes: Naturally occurring chemical
substances in the human body that help a chemical reaction take
Epidemiology: A field of medical science
that studies the incidence, distribution, and control of disease
in a population. This information is often used to determine
causes and methods of controlling diseases.
False-Positive: A test result that mistakenly
gives a positive reading.
Fatty Liver: Refers to a condition where fat
accumulates in liver cells. This accumulation of fat does not
generally cause liver damage, but it needs to be monitored. It
is detected by liver biopsy.
Fibrosis (hepatic): Growth of fibrous tissue
in the liver where there is usually liver cell damage or destruction.
Fibrosis can lead to cirrhosis, an even more serious liver disease.
Food and Drug Administration (FDA): A federal
organization charged with protecting the public health. It establishes
safety and effectiveness guidelines for healthcare products such
as the drugs that are used to treat hepatitis B and C.
Gastroenterology: The field of medicine
that focuses on the function and disorders of the GI system,
which includes the esophagus, stomach, pancreas, intestines,
Genome: Refers to the genetic material
of an organism such as a human or a virus.
Genotype: A pattern of genetic information
that is unique to an individual or group. The hepatitis B virus
has a pattern of genetic information unique to itself. Doctors
may determine the genotype to help decide the best treatment.
Currently, there are seven known genotypes for hepatitis B; however,
its significance is not well established for clinical use. Hepatitis
C treatment can be based on genotype.
Hepatitis: Refers to “inflammation
of the liver”, which can be caused by many things such
as viruses, bacterial infections, trauma, adverse drug reactions,
or alcoholism. Inflammation of the liver caused by viruses is
called “viral hepatitis”. There are many different
viruses that attack the liver:
Hepatitis A: Formerly called “infectious
hepatitis”, it is caused by the hepatitis A virus (HAV)
and is an acute infection. There is no chronic infection. Most
patients recover completely within 6 to 10 weeks. Hepatitis A
is spread mainly via feces and contaminated food and water. There
is a safe vaccine for HAV.
Hepatitis B: Formerly called “serum hepatitis”,
it is caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Approximately
10% of infected adults progress to chronic hepatitis B; 90% of
newborns born to HBV infected women develop chronic infections;
and young children have a 30-50% chance of developing a chronic
infection. It is spread primarily through blood, unprotected
sex, shared needles, and from an infected mother to her newborn
during the delivery process. There is a safe vaccine for HBV.
Hepatitis C: Formerly known as “non-A,
non-B hepatitis”, it is caused by the hepatitis C virus
(HCV). Approximately 85% of infected adults will develop
chronic hepatitis C infections. It is spread through infected
blood, primarily in those who use illicit street drugs and those
who received blood transfusions prior to1992 (the first year
that a blood test for HCV became available for screening the
blood supply). There is no vaccine.
Hepatitis D: Known as “delta hepatitis”,
it is caused by the hepatitis D virus (HDV). This virus can only
co-infect patients who are already infected with hepatitis B.
Hepatitis D infection is rare in the United States. It occurs
primarily in recipients of multiple blood transfusions, including
patients with hemophilia or those undergoing renal dialysis,
and among people who share contaminated needles. There is no
Hepatitis E: Also referred to as “enterically
transmitted non-A, non-B hepatitis”, it is caused by the
hepatitis E virus (HEV). It is spread through fecal contamination
of water; occurs primarily in developing countries; and is found
rarely in the United States. Hepatitis E infection results in
an acute infection much like hepatitis A; it does not cause chronic
infection. There is no vaccine.
Hepatitis F: Only a handful of cases have been
reported from France with subsequent experimental transmission
to primates. The virology, epidemiology and clinical importance
of the hepatitis F virus are uncertain. There is no commercial
test nor is there a vaccine.
Hepatitis G: The hepatitis G virus (also called
hepatitis GB virus or HGBV-C) is a distant relative of the hepatitis
C virus. It appears to be transmitted through transfusions (one
to two percent of US blood donors have HGV RNA detectable in
their serum). Its role in acute and chronic hepatitis remains
unclear. Recent studies suggest that the virus may not even replicate
in the liver. At the present time, HGV does not appear to be
an important cause of clinical liver disease. There is no commercial
test nor is there a vaccine.
Hepatitis B Blood Panel: There are three
common hepatitis B tests that make up the Hepatitis B Blood Panel.
This is a simple test that requires only one blood sample, which
can be obtained during an office visit to the doctor.
B Surface Antigen (HBsAg): The surface protein of
the hepatitis B virus that is used as a marker to detect infection.
If this blood test is positive, then the hepatitis B virus
B Surface Antibody (HBsAb or anti-HBs): The antibody
formed in response to the surface protein of the hepatitis
B virus. It can be produced in response to vaccination or recovery
from an actual hepatitis B infection. If this test is positive,
then the immune system has successfully developed a protective
antibody against the hepatitis B virus that provides long-term
B Core Antibody (HBcAb or anti-HBc): This antibody
only refers to a part of the virus itself; it does not provide
any protection or immunity against HBV. This test is often
used by blood banks to screen blood donations. A positive test
indicates a person may have been exposed to the hepatitis B
virus, but the result can only be confirmed in relationship
to the above two tests.
HBeAg: A marker of a high degree of HBV infectivity,
it correlates with a high level of HBV replication. It is primarily
used to help determine the clinical management of patients with
chronic HBV infection.
Hepatitis B Immune Globulin (HBIG): A
medication that is given as a “post-exposure” treatment
to prevent hepatitis B. This means that HBIG is given after a
person has been exposed to potentially infected blood or infected
bodily fluids, which can include but is not limited to - contact
with blood or through a needlestick, infants born to infected
women, and through sexual contact or close household contact
with an infected person. HBIG is often used as a post-liver transplant
HBV-DNA: A marker of viral replication.
It correlates well with infectivity. It is used to assess
and monitor the treatment of patients with chronic HBV infection.
Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC): A malignant
tumor of the liver, otherwise known as liver cancer. Chronic
hepatitis B and C infections may increase the risk of developing
Hepatocyte: A liver cell.
Hepatologist: A doctor who specializes
in the study and treatment of liver disease. Ideally, patients
with chronic hepatitis B or C should see a “hepatologist”.
Hepatology: The field of medicine that
focuses on diseases of the liver. It is a sub-specialty within
Histology: The field of medicine that
studies tissue under the microscope. Histological evaluations
of liver biopsy samples are helpful in the diagnosis and monitoring
of possible liver damage in chronic HBV and HCV carriers.
IgG anti-HBc: A subclass of the hepatitis B
core antibody (HBcAb or anti-HBc) is a marker of past or current
infection with HBV. If it and HBsAg are both positive (in
the absence of IgM anti-HBc), this indicates chronic HBV infection.
IgM anti-HBc: A subclass of the hepatitis
B core antibody (HBcAb or anti-HBc). Positivity indicates
recent infection with HBV (less than 6 months). Its
presence indicates acute infection.
Immune System: The body’s defense
system against invasion by foreign bodies such as bacteria, viruses,
fungi, parasites, and malignant cells.
Immunology: The branch of medicine that
studies the immune system, immunity, and allergies.
Infection: The results of the presence
of harmful microorganisms in the body. Infections can be acute
(sudden) or chronic (persistent).
Injection: A method of administering
drugs or nutrients into the body using a needle.
- Intramuscular (IM): into muscle tissue.
- Intravenous (IV): into a vein.
- Subcutaneous (SQ): beneath the skin.
Interferon: A protein that is produced by the
body to protect against infection. Many different cells including
liver cells produce natural interferon. Interferon also can be
manufactured artificially through biotechnology for the treatment
of chronic hepatitis B and C.
Interferon Alpha-2b (Intron A): A drug that
mimics naturally occurring “interferon”, which is
an infection-fighting immune substance produced by the body.
It is self-administered at least three times a week by injection.
This was the first drug approved for chronic hepatitis B in 1991.
Available for both adults and children greater than 2 years old.
Investigational Drug: A new drug that
is undergoing clinical trials to prove its effectiveness and
safety (see clinical trials).
Jaundice: A condition characterized by yellowing
of the skin and eyes. Jaundice is a symptom of many disorders,
which can include viral hepatitis, alcoholism, poisoning, and
abnormal breakdown of red blood cells or gallbladder disease.
This symptom requires immediate medical attention.
Lamivudine (Epivir-HBV, Zeffix, Heptodin): An
oral nucleoside analogue drug that interferes with the replication
of the hepatitis B virus (e.g. it can slow down or stop the virus
from reproducing). It was the second drug approved for chronic
hepatitis B in December 1998. Available for both adults and children.
Liver: The largest glandular organ in
the body. The liver has many functions that include, but are
not limited to the production of protein and cholesterol, the
production of bile and clotting factors, the storage of sugar
in the form of glycogen, and the breakdown of carbohydrates,
fats, and proteins. The liver also breaks down and excretes many
Liver Biopsy: The removal of a small
piece of tissue from the liver using a special needle. The tissue
is examined under a microscope to look for the presence of inflammation
or liver damage (see histology).
Liver Enzymes: Proteins that catalyze chemical
reactions needed for bodily functions. Levels of certain enzymes,
such as ALT and AST are higher when the liver is injured, as
they leak into the bloodstream when the cell is injured or destroyed.
Liver Function Tests (LFT’s): Refers
to a group of blood tests used to evaluate the function of the
liver. The tests can be used to diagnose and monitor chronic
viral hepatitis as well as other liver diseases. The two most
common tests include the following liver enzymes:
- Aspartate Aminotransferase (AST): An enzyme
that is released into the blood by the liver and other tissues
or organs. It is generally used as a marker for liver or biliary
- Alanine Aminotransferase (ALT): An enzyme
that is released into the blood by damaged liver cell. It is
used as a marker for liver cell damage. The ALT test is considered
to be a more accurate reflection of liver inflammation than
AST because other organs such as the heart can also produce
AST. (e.g. the level of AST will increase on a blood test during
a heart attack). ALT levels are included in the regular monitoring
of all chronic hepatitis B patients; this test can also useful
in deciding whether a patient would benefit from therapy or
evaluating the effectiveness of an ongoing treatment.
Needlestick: Refers to an accidental
puncture of the skin while handling hypodermic needles or syringes.
This is most common among health care providers such as physicians,
nurses, and emergency response personnel.
Non-Responders: Patients who do not respond
to therapy or a vaccine within a specific period.
Patient Compliance: Patients who correctly
follow all the instructions about a course of therapy as directed
by their physician are considered to be “compliant” with
a treatment protocol (see protocol below).
PCR (polymerase chain reaction): A highly
sophisticated scientific method of detecting the presence of
hepatitis B virus DNA or hepatitis C virus RNA in the blood.
This test can be conducted on the same sample of blood obtained
with the hepatitis B panel of blood tests; no extra doctor’s
visit is needed.
Peg Interferon Alfa-2a (Pegasys): A pegylated
interferon drug that mimics naturally occurring “interferon”,
which is an infection-fighting immune substance produced by the
body. It is self-administered once a week by injection and seems
to have fewer side effects than the interferon alpha. Approved
for treatment of chronic hepatitis B in May 2005.
Percutaneous: Passage or absorption of
substances into the body through unbroken skin.
Perinatal Transmission (vertical transmission): Transmission
of an infectious disease, such as hepatitis B, from mother to
newborn. All pregnant women should be tested for hepatitis B
since newborns have a 90% chance of becoming chronically infected
if they do not receive the first dose of hepatitis B vaccine
and a single dose of HBIG within 12 hours after delivery. The
infant will also need additional doses of hepatitis B vaccine
at one and six months of age to ensure a complete immune response.
Persistent: A disease or other medical
condition that returns or continues over a long time.
Platelets: Cells that are produced in
the bone marrow. Platelets control bleeding by causing the blood
to clot. The liver produces the clotting factors involved in
this process. If the liver is damaged, then clotting will also
Post-Transfusion Hepatitis: Liver inflammation,
or hepatitis, that occurs when the body reacts unfavorably to
a blood transfusion. This is now rare in the United States due
to careful blood screening procedures.
Protein: A substance made of a string
of amino acids. Proteins are the “building blocks” of
the human body.
Protocol: A detailed plan of a scientific
experiment or medical treatment. A specific step-by-step procedure
is used in clinical trials to test new drugs and treatments for
diseases such as chronic hepatitis B.
Recombinant DNA: Genetic material that
has been altered and recombined in the laboratory by cutting
up DNA molecules and splicing together specific DNA fragments.
Many drugs, including the hepatitis B vaccines, are produced
using recombinant DNA methods.
Reconstitution: The process of adding
liquid to a dry powder to make a new solution. Prescription drugs
that are given by injection are often provided as a dry powder,
which must be reconstituted (e.g. liquid must be added) before
it can be used.
Recreational Drugs (illicit drug use): Illegal
drugs, such as marijuana, crack, cocaine, and heroin. People
who use these drugs have a much greater risk of acquiring a hepatitis
B or C infection as a result of sharing needles or engaging in
other behaviors that increase their risk of exposure to infected
Relapse: The return (or recurrence) of
symptoms of a disease after a period of improvement.
Remission: A period of time during which
all or some of the symptoms of a disease have disappeared or
decreased in severity. Remission may occur spontaneously or as
a result of medical treatment.
Retreatment: Treatment that is restarted
after a patient has suffered a relapse or has not responded to
treatment the first time.
Risk Factors: Refers to behaviors and
conditions that increase the possibility of an individual developing
a disease. Smoking is a risk factor for lung cancer. Jobs that
expose a person to blood or the use of illegal drugs are risk
factors for acquiring a hepatitis B or C infection.
Screening: Testing blood samples or blood
donations for the presence of disease. Before blood donations
are accepted, they are screened for hepatitis B, hepatitis C,
and HIV/AIDS and other bloodborne pathogens.
Self-Administration: Therapy, such as
interferon injections, that patients give to themselves rather
than having it done by a health care provider.
Seroconversion: A change in status from antigen
positive/antibody negative to antigen negative/antibody positive.
For example, seroconversion of e-antigen positive to e-antibody
positive indicates a significant decrease in the amount of hepatitis
B virus. Seroconversion of hepatitis B surface antigen positive/surface
antibody negative to surface antigen negative/surface antibody
positive connotes being "cured" of a chronic HBV infection
since the virus has been cleared from the liver and bloodstream.
Serology: Refers to the study of serum
(the clear portion of a body fluid) for its antibody content.
When a person is exposed to a microorganism, such as the hepatitis
B or C virus, the body produces specific antibodies against it.
In laboratory testing, the antibodies react with antigens in
specific ways that can be used to confirm the identity of the
microorganism, however, this test is not used to diagnose a current
Spleen: An organ located in the left
upper abdomen that removes old red blood cell and other blood
cells from circulation. The spleen can enlarge in a person who
STD (sexually transmitted disease): A
disease that is transmitted through sexual contact.
Sustained Response: A response to therapy
that continues over a long time period. For example, a
patient treated for chronic hepatitis B or C who remains free
of the virus for at least 6 months after stopping treatment is
considered to have a sustained response to therapy.
Symptom: Any change in the body or its
functions, as perceived by the patient, which could indicate
the presence of disease.
T-Cells: A type of white blood cells
that are involved in rejecting foreign tissue, regulating immunity,
and controlling the production of antibodies to fight infection.
Therapy: Treatment of a disease.
Transaminases: Refers to SGOT or SGPT,
which are older terms for the ALT and AST amino transferases
(see liver function tests).
Transfusion: The introduction of whole
blood or components of blood (such as plasma, platelets) from
one person to another.
Transmission: The way or method by which a
disease can be spread.
Vaccine: A medication that stimulates
the production of antibodies to protect against a specific disease.
There is a hepatitis A vaccine, hepatitis B vaccine, and a combination
vaccine that provides protection against both hepatitis A and
B at the same time.
Variceal Bleeding: Abnormal bleeding
from ruptured blood vessels in the esophagus that results from
severely impaired blood flow through the liver. Patients with
advanced cirrhosis are at greatest risk for this complication.
This is a life-threatening emergency and requires immediate medical
Viral hepatitis: Inflammation of the
liver caused by viruses that specifically attack the liver: hepatitis
A, B, C, D, E, F, and G viruses.
Viral Load: Measurement of the actual
amount of virus in the bloodstream such as hepatitis B and C.
Viremia: Refers to the presence or amount
of a given virus in the bloodstream.
Virus: A tiny microorganism, smaller
than bacteria, which can invade the body and cause disease. A
virus can reproduce itself exactly or mutate and make small changes.
The ability of a virus to change slightly in each infected person
is why treatment of viral diseases is so difficult.