Chronic hepatitis is inflammation of the liver that lasts at least for 6 months. Common causes include hepatitis B and C viruses and certain drugs. A lot of people have no symptoms; however, some have vague symptoms, such as a general feeling of illness, poor appetite and fatigue.
Chronic hepatitis can result in cirrhosis with portal hypertension and liver failure. To know for sure, a biopsy is done to confirm the diagnosis. Drugs, such as antiviral drugs or corticosteroids, may be used, and for advanced disease, liver transplantation may be needed.
Chronic hepatitis, although much less common than acute hepatitis, can go on for years, decades even. In a lot of people, it’s quite mild and doesn’t cause significant liver damage. However, in some people, continued inflammation slowly damages the liver, eventually resulting in cirrhosis (severe scarring of the liver), liver failure and sometimes even liver cancer.