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Hepatology is a branch of medicine concerned with the study, prevention, diagnosis and management of diseases that affect the liver, gallbladder, biliary tree and pancreas. The term hepatology is derived from the Greek words "hepar" or "hepatos" meaning 'liver', and "logia" meaning 'study'.

History[edit | edit source]

The history of hepatology dates back to ancient times. The Egyptians were the first to recognize liver disease, with the Ebers Papyrus noting the yellow discoloration of the skin in a patient with what is now known as jaundice. The Greeks also made significant contributions to the understanding of liver function and disease, with Hippocrates noting the relationship between the liver and digestion.

Scope[edit | edit source]

Hepatology encompasses the study of acute and chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, genetic and metabolic liver diseases and their complications, liver cancer, liver transplantation, drug metabolism (which depends largely upon the liver), and immunology as it pertains to the liver.

Diseases and conditions[edit | edit source]

Hepatologists diagnose and manage diseases and disorders of the liver, gallbladder, biliary tree and pancreas. This includes but is not limited to, hepatitis, cirrhosis, liver cancer, gallstones, and pancreatitis.

Diagnosis and treatment[edit | edit source]

Hepatologists use a variety of diagnostic tools, including imaging studies like ultrasound, CT scan and MRI, as well as liver biopsy. Treatment options vary depending on the specific disease or condition, but may include medication, lifestyle changes, or in severe cases, liver transplantation.

See also[edit | edit source]

References[edit | edit source]

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