The Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin Hepatitis Treatment Program is Wisconsin’s premier site for the treatment and study of viral liver disease. A multidisciplinary team member, including a nurse specializing in hepatitis treatment, delivers exceptional care to more than 1,000 patients with viral hepatitis each year.
The Hepatitis Clinic, dedicated to treating people with hepatitis B and hepatitis C, is one of only two sites in Wisconsin offering specialized care for people with hepatitis.
Program staff conduct research to study the effects of new drugs and treatments that can improve outcomes for patients with hepatitis and other liver diseases.
Viral Hepatitis Causing Inflammation of the Liver
Hepatitis is a condition characterized by inflammation of the liver. Hepatitis can be the result of many causes, the most common being viral hepatitis B and C. These blood-borne infections can lead to advanced liver disease in some people.
- The Hepatitis B virus is found in the blood and certain body fluids. It is spread when a non-immunized person contacts the blood or body fluid from an infected person. It is commonly spread through unprotected sex with an infected person, sharing needles with an infected person, needle stick exposures on the job (as in health care), or from an infected mother to her baby during birth. Immunization is available for hepatitis B.
- Hepatitis C virus is found in the blood and certain body fluids. It is spread in similar ways as hepatitis B, when blood or body fluid from an infected person enters another person’s body. There is no vaccine for hepatitis C.
Hepatitis Treatment Therapies
Effective therapy is available for viral hepatitis. Hepatitis B can be treated with interferon-based therapies as well as medications that prevent the virus from reproducing. Treatment results depend on the patient, the amount of virus present and the extent of liver damage.
Hepatitis C usually is treated with a combination of the drugs interferon and ribavirin. More than 50 percent of patients are able to clear the virus from their body with these drugs.