Treatment of Hepatitis E.Adv Exp Med Biol. 2016; 948:211-221.AE
Hepatitis E virus (HEV) infections are the most common cause of acute hepatitis, but they can also take a chronic course. There is no specific therapy for acute hepatitis, and current treatment is supportive. Choosing ribavirin as the first-line therapy for chronic HEV is advisable, especially in solid organ transplant patients. Pegylated interferon-α has been used successfully for treatment of hepatitis E but is associated with major side effects. Cholestasis is one of the most common, but devastating, manifestations in hepatitis E. Current therapy for HEV aims to treat symptoms. Therapy generally involves several measures, such as vitamins for adequate nutrition, albumin and plasma for supporting treatment, symptomatic treatment for cutaneous pruritus, and ursodeoxycholic acid and S-adenosylmethionine, and Traditional Chinese medicine for removing jaundice. Patients with underlying liver disease may develop liver failure. For these patients, supportive treatment is the foundation. Ribavirin has successfully been used to prevent liver transplantation. Prevention and treatment of complications are important for treatment of liver failure. Liver support devices are intended to support liver function until such time as native liver function recovers or until liver transplantation. Liver transplantation is widely considered as irreplaceable and definitive treatment for acute-on-chronic liver failure, particularly for patients who do not improve with supportive measures to sustain life.