Dragica Terzic, Brankica Dupanovic, Boban Mugosa, Nenad Draskovic, Neda Svirtlih
Objective. To evaluate the incidence, demographic, clinical and laboratory characteristics of patients with acute viral hepatitis E in Montenegro. Material and methods. A total of 400 patients with acute viral hepatitis from January 1st, 2000 to December 31st, 2007 were enrolled in the study. Serological tests for hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E viruses, Epstein-Barr virus, cytomegalovirus, and herpes simplex viruses were performed. Standard laboratory tests for liver function were analyzed. The results are presented as absolute numbers, mean ± SD, range of values, and percent. A P value < 0.05 was considered significant. Results. Twenty-four (6%) patients had clinically and/or serologically confirmed acute hepatitis E. The mean age of the patients was 25 ± 6 years; 62.5% were males. The majority of the patients (66%) belonged to the 20 to 40 yrs age group (P < 0.05). Seven patients were asymptomatic. Foremost symptoms were loss of appetite (100%), fatigue (94%) and vomiting (75%). The most frequent clinical sign was mild to moderate liver enlargement (94%). Jaundice had 12/17 symptomatic patients. Elevation of alanine aminotransferase was found in 19 patients including two patients without symptoms. The enzyme, gamma glutamyltranspeptidase was increased in all patients. Conclusion. Acute hepatitis E in Montenegro emerges as an autochthonous infection with a low incidence. Sub-clinical and anicteric infections may occur. Elevation of gamma glutamyltranspeptidase is an important parameter of the biochemical profile of the disease.
Key words. Hepatitis E virus, Acute hepatitis, Epidemiology, Gamma glutamyltranspeptidase, Montenegro