August 1982

The Clinical Course of Acute Hepatitis in the Elderly Patient

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Medicine (Drs Goodson, Campion, Richter, and Wands and Ms Taylor), the Primary Care Program (Dr Goodson and Ms Taylor), and the Gastroenterology Unit (Drs Richter and Wands), and the Geriatric Unit (Dr Campion), Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston.

Arch Intern Med. 1982;142(8):1485-1488. doi:10.1001/archinte.1982.00340210079017

• We have reviewed the clinical course of acute hepatitis in 23 patients 60 years or older. There were four patients with acute hepatitis B, two patients with sporadic hepatitis, and 17 patients with posttransfusion non-B hepatitis. Hepatitis, in the latter group, is presumed to have been caused by the transmission of non-A, non-B hepatitis agents by blood transfusion. Regardless of the cause, the acute episode of clinical hepatitis resolved in 20 patients. Eight patients had completely normal liver function test results on follow-up. Eleven patients had chronic elevations of bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase, or SGOT values without clinical or biochemical evidence of deterioration of their condition during 20.5 ± 3.5 months (mean ± SEM) of observation. The majority of patients with posttransfusion non-B hepatitis either recovered spontaneously or entered into a chronic phase characterized by mildly or intermittently abnormal liver function test results without clinical deterioration of their condition.

(Arch Intern Med 1982;142:1485-1488)