The Natural History of Hepatit is C Viral Infection: Clinical Evaluation and Monitoring

Matthew Chin, Christopher Hogan, Douglas Nguyen*
Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA, United States

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© Chin et al.; Licensee Bentham Open

open-access license: This is an open access article licensed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-Commercial 4.0 International Public License (CC BY-NC 4.0) (, which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the work is properly cited.

* Address correspondence to this author at the Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine, Department of Medicine UC Irvine School of Medicine 333 City Blvd. West, Suite 400 Orange, CA 92868, United States; Tel: 714-456-6745; Fax: 714-456-7753; E-mail:


Hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection is one of the most common causes of chronic liver disease in the world and represents a substantial burden on global health systems and individual patient wellbeing. Routine screening for HCV in certain high-risk populations is appropriate. HCV can cause both an acute and chronic hepatitis, and manifests as a variety of hepatic and extrahepatic symptoms, largely influenced by a combination of host and viral factors. It can be difficult to predict clinical outcomes in individual cases. In those who suffer a chronic infection, progression to cirrhosis carries the risk of decompensation and hepatocellular carcinoma. The natural history of HCV infection and our understanding of risk factors that are predictive of disease progression are discussed.

Keywords: Chronic hepatitis C, Cirrhosis, Hepatocellular carcinoma, Natural history.