Viral hepatitis and the surgeon

Authors

  • G. Y. MINUK,

    Corresponding author
    1. Liver Diseases Unit, Departments of Medicine, Surgery and Pharmacology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
      G. Y. Minuk, John Buhler Research Centre, University of Manitoba, Room 803F, 715 McDermot Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3E 3P4, Canada E-mail: gminuk@cc.umanitoba.ca
    Search for more papers by this author
  • A. J. COHEN,

    1. Liver Diseases Unit, Departments of Medicine, Surgery and Pharmacology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author
  • N. ASSY,

    1. Liver Diseases Unit, Departments of Medicine, Surgery and Pharmacology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author
  • M. MOSER

    1. Liver Diseases Unit, Departments of Medicine, Surgery and Pharmacology, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
    Search for more papers by this author

G. Y. Minuk, John Buhler Research Centre, University of Manitoba, Room 803F, 715 McDermot Avenue, Winnipeg, Manitoba, R3E 3P4, Canada E-mail: gminuk@cc.umanitoba.ca

Abstract

Background. Viral hepatitis is an infection of the liver caused by one or more of six known (HAV-HGV) hepatotropic viruses. It is a common problem among health care workers and their patients. Surgeons are at particular risk of both acquiring and transmitting some of these viruses from and to their patients. Unfortunately, specific immunoprophylaxis for viral hepatitis is presently limited to protecting against the spread of hepatitis A and B viral infections, leaving a high degree of vigilance and careful surgical technique as the only means available to prevent the transmission of other viruses relative to the surgeon. The purpose of this paper is to review the various forms of viral hepatitis including the nature of the virus, serologic testing, clinical features, epidemiology (with specific reference to those issues that arise in surgical practice), treatment and prevention.

Ancillary