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Long-term follow-up of chronic active hepatitis of moderate severity.
  1. J De Groote,
  2. J Fevery,
  3. L Lepoutre

    Abstract

    A group of patients with only moderately active chronic hepatitis has been studied. The follow-up was long (mean 87 months). All patients except one were treated with prednisone and/or azathioprine. Of the hepatitis B virus positive patients two-thirds developed cirrhosis between the second and fifth year of evolution, while in the hepatitis B negative group this occurred in less than one-third. The transition to cirrhosis was clinically silent. The patients were all allowed to do their normal work except in the terminal stages of cirrhosis. Five patients died of causes related to the disease: three patients with cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma, one with gallbladder carcinoma, and one from bleeding varices. The high incidence of tumour, especially liver-cell carcinoma, may be due to a cumulative effect of the presence of hepatitis B virus, cirrhotic transformation, and immuno-suppression. The other patients are currently in apparently good health.

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