Health Questions and Answers

Question: When should the patient with acute viral hepatitis be admitted for hospitalization?

Answer:

  • Older age
  • Underlying systemic illnesses
  • Encephalopathy
  • Ascites
  • Bilirubin > 15 mg/dL
  • Hypoglycemia
  • Social problems that may result in loss to follow-up
  • Pregnancy
  • Underlying chronic hepatitis of another etiology
  • Volume depletion or inability to hold down fluids
  • Prothrombin time (PT) > 15 sec
  • Albumin < 3 mg/dL
  • Worsening PT or bilirubin with improving transaminases = fulminant hepatic failure

Reference: Sleisenger MH, Fordtran JS (eds): Gastrointestinal Disease: Pathophysiology, Diagnosis, and Management, 7th ed. Philadelphia, W.B. Saunders, 2003

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