Acute alcoholic hepatitis almost exclusively affects patients with alcohol use disorder, either patients with chronic alcohol use or patients who binge drink alcohol. Prevalence is increased among individuals aged 20-60 years, when alcohol use tends to be the highest.
Some patients with alcoholic hepatitis are asymptomatic, and those who present typically have nonspecific symptoms including malaise, nausea, jaundice, and low-grade fever. Additionally, patients may present with complications of impaired liver function and acute liver failure including confusion and lethargy from hepatic encephalopathy, bleeding varices, or ascites.
Physical examination typically reveals fever, tachycardia, tachypnea, tender hepatomegaly, jaundice, ascites, and hepatic encephalopathy. Malnutrition is often present. Acute kidney injury occurs frequently, including in up to one-third of severe cases.
K70.10 – Alcoholic hepatitis without ascites
235875008 – Alcoholic Hepatitis
Differential Diagnosis & Pitfalls