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Chronic active hepatitis is a liver disease caused by infection, drug ingestion, metabolic or autoimmune disorders. Necrosis (death) of liver cells, inflammation and fibrosis may lead to liver failure. Death within 5 years of onset occurs in 40 to 50% of patients.
George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by A.D.A.M. Health Solutions, Ebix, Inc., Editorial Team: David Zieve, MD, MHA, David R. Eltz, Stephanie Slon, and Nissi Wang.