Yeungnam Univ J Med.  2007 Dec;24(2):170-178.

Clinical Characteristics of Adult Patients with Acute Hepatitis A

  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, Yeungnam University, Daegu, Korea.


BACKGROUND: The incidence of acute hepatitis A in adults has recently been increasing. This study was conducted to investigate the epidemiology and clinical characteristics of acute hepatitis A in Daegu province over the past 10 years.
We reviewed the medical records of 55 patients (male/female: 34/21), who were diagnosed with acute hepatitis A by confirmation of the IgM anti-HAV between January 1998 and June 2007.
The mean age was 29.7+/-10.3 years (range; 17-65 years). The incidence was most common between March and June (56.1%), in the third and fourth decades of life (78.2%) and 90.9% (50/55) of the patients were diagnosed from 2003 to present. The common symptoms included anorexia, nausea or vomiting (69.1%), fever and chills (49.1%), myalgia (47.3%), weight loss (47.3%), fatigue (40.0%), abdominal pain (36.4%), diarrhea (9.1%) and pruritus (5.5%). The mean duration of hospital stay was 8.6+/-3.4 days (range; 3-20 days). The route of transmission was identified in only 11 patients (20.0%); 7 patients (12.7%) traveled (abroad or domestic), 2 patients (3.6%) ingested raw food and 2 patients (3.6%) had friends with acute hepatitis A. Fifty four patients recovered without complication; one patient developed fulminant hepatitis and recovered after a liver transplantation.
The incidence of acute hepatitis A in adults is increasing. Because of the cost of treatment and potential for serious disease, persons, under 40 are recommened to have hepatitis A vaccination and confirmation of IgG anti-HAV.


Hepatitis A virus; Acute hepatitis A; Clinical features; Vaccination
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