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Acute hepatitis E superinfection leading to chronic hepatitis B reactivation


Reactivation of chronic hepatitis B (CHB) can be associated with significant morbidity and mortality. There are many different causes of hepatitis B reactivation. This case describes an Asian woman with stable CHB presenting with significant hepatitis flare with markedly elevated serum aminotransferases and hepatitis B virus DNA level. The clinical symptoms were subtle with fatigue and vague right upper quadrant tenderness. We ruled out drug-associated hepatotoxicity and screened for common causes of acute hepatitis. Interestingly, she was noted to have reactive anti-hepatitis E virus (HEV) IgM at initial presentation followed by anti-HEV IgG positivity a month later. The serological pattern confirmed the diagnosis of acute hepatitis E. The combination of antiviral therapy for hepatitis B and resolution of acute hepatitis E resulted in normalisation of serum aminotransferases. This case illustrates the importance of taking a careful history and having a high index of suspicion for various aetiologies when evaluating patients with reactivation of CHB.

  • hepatitis B
  • foodborne infections
  • hepatitis other

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