Introduction: Acute hepatitis may be caused by a variety of insults which may also progress to acute liver failure a condition associated with high morbidity and mortality without a liver transplant. It is important to establish the underlying etiology of acute hepatitis, as the outcome varies according to etiology and the risk of progression to acute liver failure also differs accordingly. Objectives: The present study was undertaken to identify the underlying etiology of Acute Hepatitis in children under16 years of age admitted at the Department of Paediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University, Dhaka, a tertiary care hospital of Bangladesh. Methodology: It was a retrospective review of medical records from November 2014 through October 2016. Results: During this period a total of 126 patients were diagnosed to have acute hepatitis. Etiology was established in 87.3% of cases of acute hepatitis. Among them, 52.4% were due to Hepatitis A Virus infection, 12.7% due to Wilson’s disease and only 6.4% were due to hepatitis B virus infection. Hepatitis A virus infection was found to be the most common cause (52.4%) of acute hepatitis in children in this study. Conclusions: Hepatitis-A virus infection was found to be the most common cause of acute hepatitis in Bangladeshi children which is preventable. An intervention like universal immunization against the hepatitis A virus may effectively reduce morbidity from acute hepatitis and mortality associated with acute liver failure in Bangladeshi children.
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