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Classification according to ICD-10
K75.9 Inflammatory liver disease, unspecified
ICD-10 online (WHO version 2019)

As Hepatitis (plural: hepatitis; from ancient Greek ἧπαρ hepar , German , liver ' ) is an inflammation of the liver called, may be responsible for numerous causes. If another underlying disease leads to this inflammation of the liver, it is called accompanying hepatitis.

Clinically, one differentiates between acute hepatitis and chronic hepatitis (= hepatitis that has not healed after six months).


Hepatitis always starts with damage and destruction of the liver cells ( hepatocytes ). The causes of this damage are very diverse, there can be a purely mechanical or physical impairment (radiation hepatitis, bruise , blood flow disturbance , etc.), or toxic substances (drugs, drugs, poisons) and pathogens ( viruses , bacteria , parasites ) can directly affect the liver cell to destroy. The different forms of hepatitis differ in terms of the original damage to the liver cells only in terms of severity and duration. The result of the damage and inflammation is almost always the same:

Types of inflammation of the liver

The most common causes of hepatitis are viral infections ( viral hepatitis ) and autoimmune hepatitis .

Infectious forms

Toxic hepatitis

The following forms of toxic hepatitis are known:

Physical forms

Immunopathological forms

Extrahepatic forms

Congenital causes

Reporting requirement

Every acute viral hepatitis is a reportable disease under German law in accordance with Section 6 of the Infection Protection Act . In Austria, according to Section 1 (1) of the 1950 Epidemic Act, only infectious [e] hepatitis (hepatitis A, B, C, D, E) is notifiable . In Switzerland, too, hepatitis A, B, C, D and E are subject to mandatory reporting according to numbers 19-21a of Annex 1 of the FDHA Ordinance on the reporting of observations of communicable diseases in humans .


  • Gert Frösner: Modern hepatitis diagnostics. Kilian, Marburg 2001, ISBN 3-932091-50-7 .
  • Hartwig Klinker: infections caused by hepatitis viruses. In: Marianne Abele-Horn (Ed.): Antimicrobial Therapy. Decision support for the treatment and prophylaxis of infectious diseases. With the collaboration of Werner Heinz, Hartwig Klinker, Johann Schurz and August Stich, 2nd, revised and expanded edition. Peter Wiehl, Marburg 2009, ISBN 978-3-927219-14-4 , pp. 297-301.
  • Hans Adolf Kühn: diseases of the liver. In: Ludwig Heilmeyer (ed.): Textbook of internal medicine. Springer-Verlag, Berlin / Göttingen / Heidelberg 1955; 2nd edition, ibid. 1961, pp. 847-875, here: pp. 854-870.

Web links

Commons : Hepatitis  album with pictures, videos and audio files