Tijdschrift voor Geneeskunde vol:69 issue:21 pages:1019-1025
The hepatitis E virus (HEV) is endemic in several underdeveloped countries, the infection occurring by the contamination of drinking water. Still, hepatitis E also occurs in western countries.
The clinical picture is not well established in Belgium. Thus, the clinical signs of 35 patients in the University Clinic of Leuven (Belgium) with positive HEV-IgG and HEV-IgM antibodies were investigated: 15 were found with acute hepatitis E related to recent travelling in an endemic country and 20 could be classified as sporadic cases. Patients contaminated outside Belgium were younger (43 versus 54 years). Most of the sporadic cases occurred during summer (11/20). Hospitalization was required for more than 60% of the patients. The clinical presentation and the medical evolution were similar in both groups, though jaundice was more prevalent after travelling.