AN OUT BREAK OF MORE THAN 1300 CASES OF ACUTE VIRAL HEPATITIS IN A TERTIARY CARE HOSPITAL IN RAWALPINDI IN SUMMER OF 2009
Objective: To find out the short-term clinical course including common clinical features, laboratory parameters, treatment provided and outcome of cases of acute viral hepatitis hospitalized in a tertiary care hospital.
Study Design: Descriptive observational study.
Place and Duration of Study: Military Hospital in Rawalpindi from May to July 2009.
Patients and Methods: Patients hospitalized with acute viral hepatitis, both male and female, older than 12 years of age were included in the study. A detailed proforma including patients’ particulars, clinical features; laboratory parameters, treatment provided, disposal/ outcome was designed and filled for each patient.
Results: During the study period a total 1334 patients were hospitalized, 1279 (95.87%) were male while only 55 (4.13%) were female. Majority of patients were young adults. Mean age was 26 years with a range of 12 to 85 years. Maximum serum bilirubin levels of 559 micromoles /l and serum alanine aminotransferas (ALT) levels of 7750 IU/L were observed. Maximum prothrombin time (PT) ranged from 105 seconds to failed to clot, against a control of 13 seconds. Thrombocytopenia was observed in some patients especially those with coagulopathy and encephalopathy but recovered with improvement in LFTs. Anti HEV serology was sent in a third of all admitted patients and was positive for IgM in patients tested. Five patients were pregnant ladies. Two patients also had laboratory proven malaria along with acute viral hepatitis. Majority of patients had uneventful recovery. A total of 13 patients went in to hepatic encephalopathy while three unfortunate patients died.
Conclusion: HEV has been an important cause of acute viral hepatitis in Pakistan, particularly in adults from lower socioeconomic groups. The problem is more serious for those living in military camps, residential institutions and in segregated areas who consume untreated water from a common source. Outbreaks like the one described have significant morbidity and not ignorable mortality for the affected persons.