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Acute viral hepatitis: aetiology and evolution.
  1. C B Chow,
  2. T T Lau,
  3. N K Leung,
  4. W K Chang
  1. Paediatric A Unit, Princess Margaret Hospital, Hong Kong.


    Over a period of three and a half years, 348 consecutive children with acute hepatitis were studied. There were 205 boys and 143 girls aged from 3 months to 12 years old. The most common type was hepatitis A, of which there were 281 cases, 81% of the total; there were 41 in the under 4 years old age group (63% of that group), 99 in the 5-8 year old age group (87% of that group) and 141 in the 8-12 year old age group (83% of that group). Hepatitis B occurred in 29 (8% of the total), and non-A, non-B hepatitis occurred in 35 (10%). All the children with hepatitis A and all but one with hepatitis B recovered. There were three deaths from fulminant hepatitis, one in the group with hepatitis B and two with non-A, non-B. Clearance of the hepatitis B surface antigen was fast, by six months 26 patients having cleared the antigen and 21 (77%) being positive for hepatitis B surface antibody. One patient became a carrier of hepatitis B surface antigen.

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