Difference Between Hepatitis And Cirrhosis

Hepatitis and Cirrhosis are diseases that affect the liver and its functions.

So some of the symptoms of these diseases are very similar like itching, blood in vomiting, fatigue, abnormal muscle moments, amnesia, swelling in legs and discomfort in the sleeping cycle, etc.

Though many differences should be noted to differentiate between the two.

Hepatitis vs Cirrhosis

The main difference between Hepatitis and Cirrhosis is that hepatitis occurs when the cells are infected by a hepatitis virus. In Cirrhosis, some particular cells that increase the deposition of connective tissues and nodules are activated. Hepatitis is reversible while Cirrhosis was considered to be irreversible until recently.

Hepatitis vs Cirrhosis

Hepatitis is a viral infection that affects the liver. It causes inflammation of the liver which leads to the damage of the liver tissue that causes swelling. Hepatitis can be an acute or chronic infection.

There are different types of hepatitis, the main of them are Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E.

It is considered that Cirrhosis happens because of the regular damage to the liver by the chronic hepatitis infection. The proliferation of the liver is caused by cirrhosis by an increase in the production of connective tissues in the liver.

And so it distorts or blocks the blood flow in the liver. Chronic hepatitis can lead to cirrhosis.

Comparison Table Between Hepatitis And Cirrhosis

Parameters of ComparisonHepatitisCirrhosis
DefinitionHepatitis is a disease that causes inflammation in the liver, leading to damage to the liver.Cirrhosis is a disease that causes scarring of the liver tissues and damages the liver.
CauseMostly, it is caused because of the infection.Chronic hepatitis, alcohol consumption are the main causes.
SymptomsFatigue, fever, dark urine, abdominal pain, loss of appetite, etc.  Loss of appetite, fever, fatigue, Itchy Skin, memory loss, swelling in legs, weight loss, etc.  
ComplicationsLiver failure, Liver cancer, etc.Portal Hypertension, Malnutrition, Liver failure, Hypersplenism, etc.
TreatmentAnti-viral medications, Anti-viral drug therapies.Anti-biotic, Anti-viral medication.

What is Hepatitis?

Hepatitis is a disease that causes inflammation in the liver which leads to the damage of the liver tissue. Hepatitis can lead to liver failure as well.

It is commonly the result of a viral infection, though there are other possible causes of hepatitis like alcohol consumption.

Hepatitis can be acute or chronic, i.e. it can be short-term or long-term. there are many types of hepatitis. Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E are the main types of Hepatitis and each of them can be caused by different types of viral infection.

Hepatitis A is caused because of hepatitis A virus infection. Hepatitis B can happen due to the hepatitis B virus (HBV). Hepatitis C virus or bloodborne viral infections causes Hepatitis C.

Hepatitis D is caused because of hepatitis D virus (HDV) or conjunction with hepatitis B infection. And Hepatitis E occurs due to the hepatitis E virus (HEV), which is caused because of poor sanitation and contaminated water.

Another type of hepatitis is autoimmune hepatitis in which the body makes antibodies against the liver tissues of the body. This can occur because of side effects or secondary results of medications or drugs.

Exposure to toxins and chemicals can also be a reason. Blood tests, Imaging tests, Liver biopsies, etc. are used to diagnose the disease.

What is Cirrhosis?

Cirrhosis is a disease that causes damage to the liver. It is a late-stage disease. In cirrhosis, the healthy liver tissues are replaced with scar tissues, which leads to the damaging of the liver.

Scar tissue keeps the liver from working properly, causes cell death and inflammation. The scarring of the liver leads to blockage of the flow of blood through the liver.

This leads to liver dysfunction, the liver cannot work properly. Its ability to process nutrients, proteins, hormones, drugs, natural toxins, and other substances are compromised.

Cirrhosis can occur because of chronic hepatitis, alcohol consumption, diabetes, obesity, unprotected sex, taking drugs through shared needles, or it can be genetic.

Some symptoms of cirrhosis are abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, nausea, itchy skin, weight loss, etc. There are two stages of cirrhosis: Compensated cirrhosis, Decompensated cirrhosis.

Compensated cirrhosis means the symptoms of cirrhosis are not yet visible in the patient though he has cirrhosis. And Decompensated cirrhosis means the cirrhosis is worsened and the symptoms are noticeable now.

Cirrhosis is fatal and it has complications like liver failure, portal hypertension, etc. Until recently it was believed that Cirrhosis cannot be reversed and the damage is done permanently.

It can be stopped at a limit but cannot be reversed however recent studies have taken some points into consideration and showed that it can be reversed.

CT scan, MRI, blood test, Ultrasound, etc are used to diagnose cirrhosis.

Main Differences Between Hepatitis And Cirrhosis

  1. Hepatitis occurs due to a viral infection. Cirrhosis occurs either because of chronic hepatitis, alcohol consumption or it can be genetic.
  2. Hepatitis can be acute or chronic. Cirrhosis is chronic.
  3. Hepatitis is reversible. Cirrhosis was irreversible until recently, now, research has come out with ways to reverse it.
  4. Hepatitis has types or forms like Hepatitis A, B, etc. Cirrhosis has no type.
  5. The major complications of hepatitis are ALT, Relapsing hepatitis, etc. The major complications of Cirrhosis are hemorrhaging, portal hypertension, etc.
Difference Between Hepatitis And Cirrhosis


Hepatitis and cirrhosis are both diseases that involve the liver. Both these diseases cause liver dysfunctions. Both hepatitis and Cirrhosis are death threatening diseases as they can lead to liver cancer or liver failure.

In hepatitis, inflammation of the liver occurs due to a viral infection. There are five main types of Hepatitis, Hepatitis A, B, C, D, and E, and each of these hepatitis is caused because of a different type of viral infection.

Cirrhosis is a chronic disease that can happen because of chronic hepatitis, alcohol consumption or it can be genetic. In cirrhosis, degeneration of cells, inflammation of the liver, and fibrous thickening of liver tissue occur.

It leads to scarring or failure of the liver.


  1. https://aasldpubs.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1002/hep.1840060302
  2. https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/255016/9789?sequence=1
  3. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0140673608603839
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