Having a chronic HBV infection can lead to serious complications, such as:

  • Scarring of the liver (cirrhosis). Hepatitis B infection may cause inflammation that leads to extensive scarring of the liver (cirrhosis). Scarring in the liver may impair the liver's ability to function.
  • Liver cancer. People with chronic hepatitis B infection have an increased risk of liver cancer.
  • Liver failure. Acute liver failure is a condition in which the vital functions of the liver shut down. When that occurs, a liver transplant is necessary to sustain life.
  • Hepatitis D infection. Anyone chronically infected with HBV is also susceptible to infection with another strain of viral hepatitis — hepatitis D. You can't become infected with hepatitis D unless you're already infected with HBV. Having both hepatitis B and hepatitis D makes it more likely you'll develop complications of hepatitis.
  • Kidney problems. Hepatitis B infection can cause kidney problems that may lead eventually to kidney failure. Children are more likely to recover from these kidney problems than are adults, who may experience kidney failure.
Sep. 01, 2011

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