font size

Definition of Hepatology

Hepatology: The field of liver disease. The liver is the body's largest organ and hepatology is a large field. It includes, but is not limited to, the study of acute and chronic hepatitis, viral 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.

Historically, hepatology grew out of gastroenterology and so became a subfield of it, although today it appears to be emerging as a freestanding medical specialty.

The hepato- part comes from the Latin hepaticus derived from the Greek hepatikos meaning (not too surprisingly) the liver. The -logy part comes from the Greek logos meaning the study of, or field.

History: Dr. Sheila Sherlock (1918-2001), was a pioneer in the science of liver disease, is considered the "mother of hepatology." Her book, "Diseases of the Liver and Biliary System" which she first published in 1955, was the first standard textbook on clinical liver disease. In 1959 she became the first woman to become a professor of medicine at the Royal Free Hospital in London, where she set up and directed a world famous clinical, research and training center on liver disease.

Source: MedTerms™ Medical Dictionary
http://www.medterms.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=19427
Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

Drug Medical Dictionary of Terms by Letter

Top RxList Drug News

GI Disorders

Get the latest treatment options.

advertisement
advertisement
Use Pill Finder Find it Now See Interactions

Pill Identifier on RxList

  • quick, easy,
    pill identification

Find a Local Pharmacy

  • including 24 hour, pharmacies

Interaction Checker

  • Check potential drug interactions
Search the Medical Dictionary for Health Definitions & Medical Abbreviations