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Schistosomiasis is mainly a tropical disease and is typically caused by parasitic worms. Less common causes of schistosomiasis include unusual reactions to certain drugs, prolonged exposure to toxins, as well as chronic heart failure (cardiac cirrhosis). In certain parts of the world (particularly Northern Africa), infection of the liver with a parasite (schistosomiasis), which causes cirrhosis, is the most common cause of all liver disease.

Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC) is a rare condition found in association with ulcerative colitis. In PSC, the large bile ducts outside the liver become inflamed and obstructed. Obstruction of bile leads to frequent infections and jaundice and eventually causes cirrhosis and the need for liver transplantation. In some patients, injury (usually result of surgery) to the bile ducts can cause obstruction and cirrhosis of the liver.

Viral liver disease is also a common cause of cirrhosis, although most patients with viral hepatitis will not develop cirrhosis. There are five known types of viral hepatitis, each caused by a different virus. Acute hepatitis A and acute hepatitis E do not lead to chronic hepatitis. Acute hepatitis B leads to chronic infection in approximately 5% of adult patients. In a few of these patients, the chronic hepatitis B progresses to cirrhosis. Acute hepatitis D infects individuals already infected by hepatitis B. Acute hepatitis C becomes chronic in approximately 80% of adults. A minority of these patients (2030%) will progress to cirrhosis, typically over many years.

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Research papers on schistosomiasis discuss the disease that is mainly tropical and typically caused by parasitic worms.

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