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עמוד בית
Tue, 23.07.24

Original Articles

IMAJ | volume 21

Journal 1, January 2019
pages: 24-28

Ascites and Gallbladder Abnormalities are Frequent Findings in Adults with Hepatitis A Virus Infection



Since the implementation of a hepatitis A virus (HAV) immunization program for children, which began in 1999 in Israel, HAV infections in the country have occurred mostly in adults. HAV infection in adults is usually symptomatic and may present with hepatic, as well as extrahepatic, abdominal complications.


To estimate the prevalence of extrahepatic abdominal complications in patients diagnosed with HAV.


Most extrahepatic abdominal complications corresponding to HAV infection have ultrasonographic manifestations; therefore, we retrospectively collected findings from ultrasound examinations in addition to laboratory data from adult patients with HAV infection who were admitted to our medical center between 2004 and 2016. Associations between ultrasonographic findings and laboratory parameters that reflect disease severity were identified.


A total of 43 consecutive adult patients were included in this study. None presented with fulminant hepatic failure. Thirty patients (70%) had at least one ultrasonographic finding. Ascites was noted in 8 patients, a thickened gallbladder wall was observed in 14, pericholecystic fluid was found in 8, and biliary sludge was observed in 4. Significant associations included the presence of any ultrasonographic finding and peak total bilirubin levels (P = 0.021), the presence of ascites with peak aspartate and alanine aminotransferase levels (P = 0.041 and P = 0.038, respectively), and the presence of biliary sludge and nadir albumin during the HAV disease course (P = 0.037).


Abdominal ultrasonographic findings, such as ascites and gallbladder abnormalities, are frequently observed during acute HAV infection and are significantly associated with disease severity.

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