Acute Viral Hepatitis and Diabetes Mellitus

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    All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
Updated on 22 January 2022
diabetes mellitus


It has been observed that several of patients having prolonged or complicated course of acute viral hepatitis have underlying diabetes. It is possible that with impaired hepatocyte regenerating capacity, these patients run a more prolonged and complicated course. We hypothesize that acute hepatitis infection has a prolonged and complicated course among diabetic patients.


Acute viral hepatitis is usually a self limited condition characterizes by typical course of prodrome followed by an icteric phase. In some cases the course may be protracted or complicated by the development of cholestatic phase or acute liver failure . The development of complicated course depends on a number of factors such as the type of virus and a variety of host factors including age of infection, immune status of the host and condition of the underlying liver before the onset of hepatitis. Patients who have an underlying chronic liver disease or cirrhosis have increased risk of development of decompensation and liver related death when they develop superinfection with some hepatotropic viruses. Vento etal demonstrated in their classical study that superinfection with hepatitis A on chronic liver disease is associated with high risk of decompensation and death. In India, since most of the adult population including those with chronic liver disease has been shown to have protective antibodies against HAV, this infection is rarely a problem in them. Hepatitis E virus (HEV) has demonstrated to be the most common cause of acute hepatitis, acute liver failure and subacute liver in India. There is now enough data to suggest that HEV superinfection is also the commonest cause of acute decompensation of chronic liver disease in Indian subcontinent. Many of these patients do not have any signs and symptoms of preexisting liver disease and it is the liver failure secondary to HEV superinfection which bring to light the underlying chronic liver disease. World over, as well as in developing countries nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is fast emerging as an important causes of chronic liver disease. Obesity and diabetes are two most important risk factors for NAFLD.It has been estimated that there would be about 366 million diabetes in the world by 2030.Of these 79.4 million will be in India. Diabetes has been proposed as a risk factor for both chronic liver disease and HCC.The spectrum of liver involvement ranges from fatty liver, steatohepatitis, and fibrosis to cirrhosis. Even among patients with NASH, presence of diabetes is annotated with advanced stage of fibrosis . There is some suggestion that diabetic patients who develop acute viral hepatitis may have a prolonged course. Liver regeneration capacity has been demonstrated to be impaired among animal and human with fatty liver after partial resection. It is therefore possible that diabetic by of having NAFLD may have poor regenerating capacity leading to prolonged course of hepatitis. It has been an observation in our unit that most of the patients who present with acute on chronic liver failure or subacute hepatic failure have diabetes. Whether it is simply a co-existence of two commonly occurring diseases (diabetes with a prevalence of 10% in Indian population and hepatitis E which is endemic(1) in our country) or the presence of acute hepatitis E in a diabetic patients some how produces a worse outcome as compared to hepatitis E in a non-diabetic patients. There fore it is important to find out the natural course of the two commonly occurring diseases when they occur together or separately. We hypothesize that acute hepatitis infection has a prolonged and complicated course among diabetic patients.

Condition Acute Viral Hepatitis, Diabetes Mellitus
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT00689546
SponsorAll India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi
Last Modified on22 January 2022

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