Types of Liver Disease

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Infections

Viral hepatitis
Liver inflammation caused by an infection with one of the five hepatitis viruses: A, B, C, D, or E. Acute hepatitis is commonly associated with the A, B, and C viruses while chronic hepatitis is only caused by B and C.

Parasitic infection
Relatively rare in the U.S., a variety of parasites can migrate to the liver and cause tissue damage and blockages. Examples include malaria, which can actively reproduce in liver cells, then go through a period of dormancy before causing periodic disease relapses, in addition to Ascaris lumbricoides, Chinese liver flukes (i.e., Clonorchis sinensis and Opisthorchis viverrini) which can block bile ducts, Schistosoma species (parasitic worms) which cause schistosomiasis and progressive liver scarring, and Echinococcus granulosus, which forms cysts in the liver.

Tests

Imaging scans

  • Ultrasound
  • X-ray
  • CT (computed tomography)
  • MRI (magnetic resonance imaging)

For more information on these imaging procedures, see RadiologyInfo.org.

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