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Hepatitis E

Hep E diagnosis and management for doctors, medical students, finals and MRCP PACES


Epidemiology of hepatitis E

  • Prevalent in developing countries


Causes of hepatitis E

  • Faeco-oral spread is commonest
  • Person-to-person spread is rare
  • Animal reservoir: especially pigs


Video on the diagnosis of hepatitis E

Presentations of hepatitis E

  • Mostly presents as an acute viral infection similar to Hepatitis A (see Hep A)
  • Can progress to chronic infection, especially in immunocompromised individuals (solid-organ transplant recipients are particularly at risk)


Diagnosis of hepatitis E

  • Serum HEV antibodies


Initial management of hepatitis E

  • Supportive treatment for acute infection
  • Ribavirin +/- peg-interferon for chronic infection
  • A vaccine has now been developed and is approved for use in China


Complications of hepatitis E

  • Chronic liver disease and its associated complications
  • Pregnant women who contract HEV are at risk of acute fulminant liver failure


Prognosis of hepatitis E

  • Usually a self-limiting disease with a good prognosis
  • However, it has an overall mortality of 2%
  • Pregnant women who contract HEV have a mortality of 20%, especially if infected in the 3rd trimester


Click here for medical student OSCE and PACES questions about Hepatitis E

Common Hepatitis E exam questions for medical students, finals, OSCEs and MRCP PACES

Click here to download free teaching notes on hepatitis E: Hepatitis E

Perfect revision for medical students, finals, OSCEs and MRCP PACES