In order to describe the respective part of viral hepatitis in liver diseases observed in Cambodia and Vietnam, ninety consecutive patients with Aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) > or = 100 Ul/l were tested for hepatitis A, B, C and E markers in Phnom Penh and Nha Trang. The markers were IgM antibodies to hepatitis A virus (anti-HAV IgM), hepatitis B surface antigen (HBsAg), antibodies to hepatitis C virus (anti-HCVAb) and IgG antibodies to hepatitis E virus (anti-HEV IgG). Recruited patients were predominantly adults and male (sex ratio 76%). Among these patients, 81% were tested positive to at least one marker in Nha Trang and 79% in Phnom Penh. In Nha Trang, HBsAg was more frequent (73%) than anti-HCV Ab (9%) while in Phnom Penh both markers were closely similar (HBsAg: 41%, anti-HCV Ab: 39%). In both population samples, HBsAg was more prevalent among young people whereas anti-HCV Ab were only detected in adults. No case of acute HAV infection was diagnosed in Nha Trang while anti-HAV IgM were detected in 20% of Cambodian patients. Anti-HEV IgG were infrequent (2% in Nha Trang, 5.5% in Phnom Penh). Only one case was notified, a male Vietnamese patient probably suffering from acute hepatitis E. More studies would be useful to improve the control measures against viral hepatitis in the public health programs.