Delta agent (Hepatitis D)

Alternative Names

Hepatitis D virus

Definition of Delta agent (Hepatitis D)

Delta agent is a type of virus called hepatitis D that causes symptoms only in people who also have a infection.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Hepatitis D virus (HDV) is only found in people who carry the hepatitis B virus. HDV may make a recent (acute) hepatitis B infection or an existing long-term (chronic) hepatitis B liver disease worse. It can even cause symptoms in people who carry hepatitis B virus but who never had symptoms.

Symptoms

Hepatitis D may make the symptoms of hepatitis B more severe.

Treatment

Many of the medicines used to treat hepatitis B are not helpful for treating hepatitis D. See .

Expectations (prognosis)

Persons with an acute HDV infection usually get better over 2 to 3 weeks. Liver enzyme levels return to normal within 16 weeks.

Review

David C. Dugdale, III, MD, Professor of Medicine, Division of General Medicine, Department of Medicine, University of Washington School of Medicine; and George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 11/23/2010

Hepatitis B virus

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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