Viral hepatitis constitutes the most common entity seen in hepatology practice. Hepatitis A vaccination is recommended for patients with chronic hepatitis. Both lamivudine and interferon are established therapies against chronic hepatitis B, with other treatments not equally effective. Adefovir dipivoxil is a promising new treatment for lamivudine-resistant hepatitis B mutants. Lamivudine and hepatitis B immunoglobulin are effective in preventing recurrence of hepatitis B after transplantation. The combination of interferon and ribavirin has been shown to be effective for treatment of hepatitis C. Studies support the antiviral, antifibrotic, and antineoplastic effect of interferon therapy. Recurrence of hepatitis C after transplantation has been associated with more rapid progression to cirrhosis. Other major advances in the field of viral hepatitis during the past year are highlighted.
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