Hepatic changes resulting from the regular ingestion of alcohol are many and include fat infiltration, alcoholic hepatitis, and cirrhosis. Only 10% to 15% of chronic alcoholics develop liver disease. Women are more susceptible. An area of considerable importance is the high prevalence of concomitant infection with hepatitis C virus in chronic alcoholics. Patients who have hepatitis C and alcohol-induced liver injury are much more likely to develop progressive liver disease and cirrhosis. Corticosteroid therapy has proven useful in the treatment of patients with severe acute alcoholic hepatitis.
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