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Gastro psychology
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Functional gastrointestinal disorder
Other disorders
Related topics

File:ERCP stone.jpg

Fluoroscopic image of common bile duct

Hepatology is the branch of medicine that incorporates the study of liver, gallbladder, biliary tree, and pancreas as well as management of their disorders. Etymologically the word Hepatology is formed of ancient Greek hepar(ηπαρ) or hepato-(ηπατο-) meaning ' liver' and suffix -logia(-λογια) meaning 'word' or 'speech'. Although traditionally considered a sub-specialty of gastroenterology, rapid expansion has led in some countries to doctors specializing solely on this area, who are called hepatologists.

Psychologists working in physical health psychology with issues such as diabetes, liver disorders etc may work with specialists in this area.

Diseases and complications related to viral hepatitis and alcohol are the main reason for seeking specialist advice. More than 2 billion people have been infected with Hepatitis B virus at some point in their life, and approximately 350 million have become persistent carriers.[1] Up to 80% of liver cancers can be attributed to either hepatitis B or Hepatitis C virus. In terms of mortality, the former is second only to smoking among known agents causing cancer. With more widespread implementation of vaccination and strict screening before blood transfusion, lower infection rates are expected in the future. In many countries, though, overall alcohol consumption is increasing, and consequently the number of people with cirrhosis and other related complications is commensurately increasing.[citation needed]


Schematic diagram of Hepato-biliary system

Scope of specialty[edit | edit source]

As for many medical specialties, patients are most likely to be referred by family physicians ( i.e. GP) or by doctors from different disciplines. The reasons might be:

History[edit | edit source]


Dr. B Blumberg, Awarded Nobel prize 1976 for discovery of Hepatitis B virus

Evidence from autopsies on Egyptian mummies suggest that liver damage from parasitic infection Bilharziasis was widespread in the ancient society.[2] It is possible that the Greeks may have been aware of the liver's ability to exponentially duplicate as illustrated by the story of Prometheus. However, knowledge about liver disease in antiquity is questionable. Most of the important advances in the field have been made in the last 50 years.

Disease classification[edit | edit source]

1. International Classification of Disease (ICD 2007)/ WHO classification:

2. MeSH (medical subject heading):

3.National Library of Medicine Catalogue (NLM classification 2007):

Also see Hepato-biliary diseases

Important procedures[edit | edit source]

Publication[edit | edit source]

  • Annals of Gastroenterology & Hepatology (AGH)
  • The American Journal of Gastroenterology (Journal of the American College of Gastroenterology)
  • The American Journal of Physiology - Gastrointestinal and Liver Physiology
  • Archives of Gastroenterohepatology
  • Comparative Hepatology
  • Current Hepatitis Reports
  • European Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
  • Gastroenterología y Hepatología
  • Gastroenterology (journal of the American Gastroenterological Association)
  • Hepatobiliary & pancreatic diseases international : HBPD INT (First Affiliated Hospital, Zhejiang University School of Medicine, China)
  • Hepatology (journal of the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases)
  • HPB
  • Journal of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
  • HPB Surgery
  • Journal of Hepato-Biliary-Pancreatic Surgery
  • Journal of Hepatology (journal of the European Association for the Study of Liver Diseases)
  • Journal of Viral Hepatitis
  • Liver
  • Liver Transplantation (from the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases)
  • Nature clinical practice. Gastroenterology & hepatology.

Societies[edit | edit source]

  • American Association for the Study of Liver Disease
  • American College of Gastroenterology
  • American Gastroenterological Association
  • American Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association
  • American Liver Society
  • Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver
  • Austrian Society of Gastroenterology and Hepatology
  • British Association for the Study of the Liver
  • British Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
  • Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver
  • Canadian Liver Foundation

Czech Society of Hepatology

  • Danish Association for the Study of the Liver
  • European Association for the Study of the Liver
  • European Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
  • French Association for the Study of the Liver
  • International Hepato-Pancreato-Biliary Association
  • International Liver Transplantation Society
  • Israel Association for the Study of the Liver
  • North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
  • Society for Surgery of the Alimentary Tract
  • Spanish Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
  • Swiss Association for the Study of the Liver
  • Turkish Association for the Study of the Liver

References[edit | edit source]

  1. WHO | Hepatitis B. URL accessed on 2010-03-17.
  2. Rosalie David A, Contis G (1996). Paleopathology on schistosomiasis in Egyptian mummies. Parasitol. Today (Regul. Ed.) 12 (4): 167.
  3. History of Liver, Gallbladder, and Spleen. URL accessed on 2007-05-18.
  4. 4.0 4.1 H S.J. Lee (Editor) (1999). Dates in Gastroenterology: A Chronological Record of Progress in Gastroenterology over the Last Millennium (Landmarks in Medicine), Informa Healthcare.
  5. Moodley J, Singh B, Lalloo S, Pershad S, Robbs JV (2001). Non-operative management of haemobilia. The British journal of surgery 88 (8): 1073–6.
  6. Victor Charles Hanot ( URL accessed on 2007-05-18.
  7. eMedicine - History of Pediatric Liver Transplantation : Article by Beth A Carter, MD. URL accessed on 2007-05-18.
  8. History of Liver Transplantation. URL accessed on 2009-09-08. [dead link]
  9. STARZL TE, MARCHIORO TL, VONKAULLA KN, HERMANN G, BRITTAIN RS, WADDELL WR (1963). Homotransplantation Of The Liver In Humans. Surgery, gynecology & obstetrics 117: 659–76.
  10. Baruch S. Blumberg - Autobiography. URL accessed on 2007-05-18.


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