Evaluation of pediatric patients with hepatitis A
Introduction: Hepatitis A is the most common form of acute viral hepatitis worldwide, especially in children. The clinical severity of the hepatitis A virus (HAV) infection varies from an asymptomatic infection to a fulminant disease. In this study, we aimed to evaluate characteristics of pediatric patients diagnosed with HAV infection.
Methodology: Patients younger than 18 years of age admitted between January 1, 2006 and January 1, 2011 to our hospital, an important reference center located in the middle part of Turkey, diagnosed as having hepatitis A were evaluated.
Results: Of 427 patients, 49.4% were female and 50.6% were male. Hospitalization rate of the patients was 28.3%. The reason for hospitalization was vomitting in 58.7% of the patients and abdominal pain in 28%. The mean time of hospitalization was 5.2 ± 4.5 (1–40) days. There was no significant difference in hospitalization time by age. Vomiting and abdominal pain were significantly more common, and PT and aPTT levels were significantly elevated in patients with elevated AST and ALT levels over 1000 IU/L (p < 0.001). PT elevation was present in 15.2% of the patients, aPTT elevation in 11.9%, leukopenia in 16.6%, and thrombocytopenia in 2.6%. In terms of atypical course, four patients (0.9%) had cholestatic hepatitis, one had recurrent hepatitis, and one had fulminant hepatitis, yet no mortality was observed.
Conclusions: Atypical courses of hepatitis A were more scarce in pediatric patients, but careful follow-up of patients with AST and ALT levels > 1000 IU/L is necessary.
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