[Hepatitis due to herpes group viruses]

José M Cisneros-Herreros, Marta Herrero-Romero
Enfermedades Infecciosas y Microbiología Clínica 2006, 24 (6): 392-7; quiz 398
In immunocompetent patients, primary infection by herpes simplex virus (HSV), varicella-zoster virus (VZV), cytomegalovirus (CMV), human herpesvirus 6, and Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) generally produces mild, self-limited hepatitis. Primary infection by HSV in neonates and pregnant women, and infection by VZV in hematological and bone marrow recipients can cause fulminant hepatitis without characteristic skin lesions. In liver transplant recipients, hepatitis is the most common expression of CMV infection and the related symptoms are indistinguishable from those of acute rejection. Persistent hepatitis is a manifestation of the syndrome of active chronic infection by the EBV. Fulminating hepatitis due to herpes virus can be treated effectively if therapy is started early; hence, a high degree of clinical suspicion and inclusion of herpes virus in the differential diagnosis of this syndrome is necessary.

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