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Clin Mol Hepatol. 2012 Sep;18(3):309-15. doi: 10.3350/cmh.2012.18.3.309. Epub 2012 Sep 25.

Type and cause of liver disease in Korea: single-center experience, 2005-2010.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, Seoul National University Bundang Hospital, Seoul National University College of Medicine, Seongnam, Korea.



The aim of this study was to describe the types and causes of liver disease in patients from a single community hospital in Korea between April 2005 and May 2010.


A cohort of patients who visited the liver clinic of the hospital during the aforementioned time period were consecutively enrolled (n=6,307). Consistent diagnostic criteria for each liver disease were set by a single, experienced hepatologist, and the diagnosis of all of the enrolled patients was confirmed by retrospective review of their medical records.


Among the 6,307 patients, 528 (8.4%) were classified as acute hepatitis, 3,957 (62.7%) as chronic hepatitis, 767 (12.2%) as liver cirrhosis, 509 (8.1%) as primary liver cancer, and 546 (8.7%) as a benign liver mass or other diseases. The etiologies in the acute hepatitis group in decreasing order of prevalence were hepatitis A (44.3%), toxic hepatitis (32.4%), other hepatitis viruses (13.8%), and cryptogenic hepatitis (9.1%). In the chronic hepatitis group, 51.2% of cases were attributed to viral hepatitis, 33.3% to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, and 13.0% to alcoholic liver disease (ALD). Of the cirrhoses, 73.4% were attributable to viral causes and 18.1% to alcohol. Of the hepatocellular carcinoma cases, 86.6% were attributed to viral hepatitis and 11.6% to ALD. Among the benign tumors, hemangioma comprised 52.2% and cystic liver disease comprised 33.7%.


Knowledge of the current status of the type and cause of liver disease in Korea may be valuable as a basis for evaluating changing trends in liver disease in that country.


Diagnosis; Etiology, Korea; Liver disease

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