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Sept 9, 1968

Unsuspected Infectious Hepatitis in Surgical Patients

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Anesthesiology of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY.

JAMA. 1968;205(11):793-795. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03140370095025

Clinical, laboratory, and histologic abnormalities of hepatic injury attributed to the use of halothane are almost indistinguishable from those caused by viral hepatitis. In three patients upon whom emergency surgery was performed, infectious hepatitis was detected from laboratory data or liver biopsy before the disease became clinically evident. Preoperatively, hepatitis was not suspected from the history or physical examination. Since infectious hepatitis may flare up following surgery and anesthesia, a high degree of suspicion should be standard.