Acute Alcoholic Hepatitis, the Clinical Aspects

Clin Liver Dis. 2016 Aug;20(3):499-508. doi: 10.1016/j.cld.2016.02.008. Epub 2016 May 14.


Alcoholic hepatitis is an acute form of alcoholic liver disease with variable severity that develops in patients who usually have a history of prolonged and recent alcohol abuse. The diagnosis is clinical and depends on history, physical examination, and laboratory derangements. Liver biopsy is diagnostic but not universally performed, and noninvasive diagnostic modalities are under development. Scoring systems are used to assess severity of disease, predict mortality, and guide decisions for initiation of specific therapies. The natural history and long-term outcomes of alcoholic hepatitis, including recurrence, progression to cirrhosis, and mortality, vary and depend partly on abstinence from alcohol use.

Keywords: Alcoholic hepatitis; Alcoholic liver disease; Clinical outcomes; Diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Alcohol Abstinence
  • Biopsy
  • Disease Progression
  • Female
  • Hepatitis, Alcoholic / diagnosis*
  • Hepatitis, Alcoholic / etiology
  • Hepatitis, Alcoholic / therapy
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Models, Biological
  • Prognosis
  • Recurrence
  • Risk Factors
  • Severity of Illness Index