Pathomorphological Characteristics and Pathogenesis of Viral Hepatitis


11st Institute of Pathology and Experimental Cancer Research, Semmelweis University of Medicine, Budapest, Hungary
2Institute for Tumorbiologie and Cancer Research, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria


Viral hepatitis (VH) is an inflammatory reaction of the liver to hepatotropic viruses. Acute VH can be classified according to the virus and type of necrosis. Chronic hepatitis (CH) might be active, persistent or lobular based on previous classification. More recently the grade (necroinflammatory activity) and stage (fibrosis and architectural distorsion) of CH have been distinguished and scored. Apoptosis and necrosis probably coexist in VH and contribute to hepatocyte death. Several ''death factors'', such as transforming growth factor b, Apo1/Fas and tumor necrosis factor play a role in the execution of cell death. Injury of hepatocytes during viral infection can occur as a direct effect of the virus or as a result of the host immune response. Expression of different viral antigens can be detected during VH and might be visualized. Phenotyping of the portal inflammatory cell infiltrate in CH has shown a T-cell zone comprised of CD4+ helper T cells and CD8+ supressor/cytotoxic T cells at the periphery of the lobules. The pathogenetic mechanisms responsible for the final outcome of viral infection depend on viral factors (such as genotype, mutation etc.), virus-host interaction, expression of viral protein, several cytokines etc. which finally lead to the well known histological alterations of viral hepatitis. Pathology & Oncology Research, Vol 2, Nr 3, 132-143, 1996

Key words: pathomorphology; pathogenesis; viral; hepatitis

Received: Mar 26, 1996; accepted: Apr 20, 1996
Correspondence: Zsuzsa SCHAFF, 1st Institute of Pathology and Experimental Cancer Research, Semmelweis University of Medicine, Üllõi út 26. Budapest H-1085, Hungary

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