Sir.—Acute hepatitis due to infection with the hepatitis A (HA) virus is common in children. Most of these children are asymptomatic. The disease is usually mild to moderate and is characterized by jaundice, anorexia, vomiting, and abdominal pain. Ascites accompanying infection with the HA virus was reported previously only twice in children.1,2 In 6 years, we encountered five children with acute HA associated with ascites.
Patients and Methods.—Five children with HA and ascites were observed in the outpatient clinic of Hasharon Hospital, Petach Tiqwa, Israel, between 1984 and 1989. Results of the diagnostic workup and clinical evaluation are presented in the Table and in the illustrative patient report.
To evaluate the occurrence of ascites in acute hepatitis, 30 children with HA underwent abdominal ultrasound studies. These 30 children were randomly recruited from the community for this study, and their clinical symptoms were mild to moderate. None required