A retrospective analysis has been made of 57 patients with subacute hepatic necrosis demonstrated on a liver biopsy obtained during the course of an episode of acute hepatitis. Fourteen patients have been lost to follow-up. One patient died acutely with massive hepatic necrosis, while 8 have developed chronic active liver disease. Two of nine biopsies subsequently performed on patients who had shown complete clinical and biochemical resolution revealed an inactive postnecrotic cirrhosis. The incidence of these complications developing in patients with subacute hepatic necrosis was approximately 30%. These findings add qualitative support to the position that liver biopsy findings bear important prognostic value in patients with acute hepatitis.
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