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Article
November 1981

Chronic Non-A, Non-B Liver DiseaseNeed for Diagnostic Criteria and Course Definition

Author Affiliations

Veterans Administration Medical Center 111G Tucson, AZ 85723

Arch Intern Med. 1981;141(12):1581-1582. doi:10.1001/archinte.1981.00340130025007
Abstract

Acute non-A, non-B (NANB) hepatitis accounts for the vast majority of posttransfusion hepatitis1 and for a large proportion of sporadic hepatitis in adults.2 Recent studies have verified that patients with NANB hepatitis commonly have a prolonged course of aminotransferase level elevation and can progress to notable chronic liver disease.3-7 Now that the serologic techniques for excluding hepatitis A and hepatitis B are clinically available, chronic liver disease resulting from acute NANB hepatitis is being recognized with increasing frequency. How should the clinician deal with chronic NANB liver disease?

First, it is essential to define carefully NANB chronic liver disease. There is a tendency to label all chronic hepatitis lacking serologic markers as NANB. Because the patient with chronic liver disease lacks hepatitis B surface antigen, antinuclear antibody, or lupus erythematosus cells does not necessarily mean he has NANB liver disease. Until a validated specific serologic marker for NANB

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