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 19 November 2017

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News

Diagnostic criteria for Epstein-Barr virus in Hepatitis

Epstein-Barr virus Hepatitis should be taken into consideration in cases of typical histopathological changes and a positive DNA polymerase chain reaction of liver biopsy, reports the latest Journal of Hepatology.

News image

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The Epstein-Barr virus has a seroprevalence of more than 80% world wide and is known to be associated with Hepatitis.

However, little is known about the underlying pathogenesis and immune mechanisms.

There are no standard diagnostic criteria to diagnose Epstein-Barr virus-Hepatitis.

Dr Uta Drebber and colleagues from Germany collected 21 liver biopsies with the tentative diagnosis of Epstein-Barr virus induced Hepatitis.

The diagnosis was made according to pathological changes and traceable Epstein-Barr virus genome by polymerase chain reaction.

Correlation with serological data revealed acute in 7 cases, convalescent in 2 cases, and past Epstein-Barr virus infection in 6 cases.

CD8 positive T-lymphocyte infiltrates the tissues in Epstein-Barr virus Hepatitis
Journal of Hepatology

The research team visualized viral RNA in situ hybridization in the nuclei of lymphocytes.

The researchers diagnosed 7 of 68 liver biopsies as ‘liver disease of unknown etiology'.

The team demonstrated the Epstein-Barr virus genome in tissue.

This finding indicates a possible role for Epstein-Barr virus in the induction of hepatitis or a trapping of infected lymphocytes within the liver.

The research team also included a control group of 20 Epstein-Barr virus-seropositive patients with steatohepatitis.

The team noted that in the controls, Epstein-Barr virus-DNA polymerase chain reaction of the liver tissue was negative.

Immunohistochemistry identified CD3 and CD8 positive T-lymphocytes as the main lymphocytic infiltrate in Epstein-Barr virus Hepatitis.

Dr Drebber's team concluded, “Epstein-Barr virus Hepatitis should be taken into consideration in cases of typical histopathological changes and a positive DNA polymerase chain reaction of liver biopsy.”

“Serological confirmation of the diagnosis is inevitable.”

J Hepatol 2006: 44(5): 879-85
26 April 2006

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