hepatitis hep·a·ti·tis (hěp'ə-tī'tĭs)
n. pl. hep·a·tit·i·des (-tĭt'ĭ-dēz')
Inflammation of the liver, caused by infectious or toxic agents and characterized by jaundice, fever, liver enlargement, and abdominal pain.
|hepatitis (hěp'ə-tī'tĭs) Pronunciation Key
Inflammation of the liver, usually caused by any of various infectious agents or toxins, including alcohol and numerous chemical compounds. Symptoms usually include jaundice, fatigue, fever, liver enlargement, and abdominal pain. There are five types of viral hepatitis: A, B,C, D, and E. Hepatitis A, an acute infection caused by a virus of the genus Hepatovirus is transmitted by contaminated food and water. Hepatitis B, caused by a virus of the genus Orthohepadnavirus and Hepatitis C, caused by a virus of the genus Hepacivirus, are more serious infections that are transmitted through infected bodily fluids such as blood and semen.
An inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis is most often caused by a virus, but it can be the result of exposure to certain toxic agents, such as drugs or chemicals. One viral form of the disease is spread by contaminated food and water, and other forms by contaminated injection needles and blood transfusions. Symptoms of hepatitis include fever and jaundice.