Liver and intrahepatic bile ducts - nontumor
Viral hepatitis
HHV6 (human herpesvirus 6)

Topic Completed: 1 May 2012

Revised: 23 January 2019, last major update May 2012

Copyright: (c) 2002-2017,, Inc.

PubMed Search: HHV 6[TIAB] human herpesvirus 6[mh] liver

Komal Arora, M.D.
Page views in 2019: 145
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Cite this page: Arora K. HHV6 (human herpesvirus 6). website. Accessed March 31st, 2020.
Definition / general
  • Infections occur in > 95% of humans; primary infection occurs in early childhood as asymptomatic illness or clinically as roseola infantum (exanthum subitum / HHV6B), leads to subclinical viral persistence and latency; rarely hepatitis, meningoencephalitis or febrile convulsions
  • Reactivation of latent HHV6 is common after liver transplantation, possibly induced and facilitated by allograft rejection and immunosuppressive therapy (World J Gastroenterol 2009;15:2561)
  • High intrahepatic HHV6 virus loads are associated with decreased graft survival after diagnosis of graft hepatitis (J Hepatol 2012;56:1063)
Case reports
  • 8 month old boy with fulminant hepatic failure due to HHV6 infection (Hum Pathol 2001;32:887)
  • 18 year old immunocompetent woman presenting with sever jaundice and liver dysfunction (Cases J 2008;1:110)
Microscopic (histologic) description
  • Panlobular microvesicular steatosis in glycogen depleted hepatocytes resembling Reye syndrome, eosinophilic central hepatocytes, with some nuclear disappearance
  • Minimal inflammation, no changes in portal areas
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