To the Editor.
—In an August Archives article (1982;142:1485-1488) Goodson and colleagues described the clinical course of acute hepatitis in elderly patients. The authors concluded that, in the elderly, acute hepatitis (at least of the non-A, non-B type) has a benign course, despite a trend observed toward persistent abnormalities in liver-function test results. In fact, 17 of the 23 patients they described had acute hepatitis of the non-A, non-B type, and, of the only four cases of type-B acute hepatitis reported, two progressed to chronic active hepatitis. On the basis of this observation, one may infer that the authors' conclusions do not apply to type-B hepatitis.
Report of Cases.
—We studied the clinical course of hepatitis B surface antigen—positive acute hepatitis in 17 elderly patients, 13 women and four men (mean age, 81 years; range, 65 to 91 years). All hepatitis cases were of the sporadic type; in 15 cases,