Home > Patients & Visitors > Health Library > Fulminant Hepatitis
People who have fulminant hepatitis typically develop the symptoms seen in viral hepatitis. Then they rapidly develop severe, often life-threatening liver failure. This can happen within hours, days, or sometimes weeks.
Symptoms of severe liver failure include:
The only known way to prevent fulminant viral hepatitis is to prevent viral hepatitis infection.
No medicine can reverse fulminant hepatitis. People who have it need to be hospitalized in an intensive care unit. While there, they can be cared for until their condition becomes more stable. For some people, a liver transplant is the only lifesaving option. People younger than age 40 who have fulminant hepatitis are more likely to recover than older adults or people who have chronic liver disease.
Depending on the cause of the fulminant hepatitis, about 40 to 70 out of 100 people recover without major treatment.footnote 1
Fiore AE, Bell BP (2009). Hepatitis A virus. In RD Feigin et al., eds., Feigin and Cherry's Textbook of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, 6th ed., vol. 2, pp. 2194–2213. Philadelphia: Saunders.
Current as of: June 9, 2019
Author: Healthwise StaffMedical Review: E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal MedicineAdam Husney MD - Family MedicineW. Thomas London MD - Hepatology
Current as of:
June 9, 2019
Medical Review:E. Gregory Thompson MD - Internal Medicine & Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & W. Thomas London MD - Hepatology
To learn more about Healthwise, visit Healthwise.org.
© 1995-2019 Healthwise, Incorporated. Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.