What is the prognosis (outlook) for patients who have alcoholic hepatitis?

If the patient who has alcoholic hepatitis gives up drinking alcohol completely, the liver may improve, and the long-term prognosis is good if there is no underlying scar in the liver. However, if the patient continues to drink excessively, the liver will continue to get worse and possibly develop cirrhosis, a serious condition that may ultimately lead to liver failure over time. Other health problems may also develop, including infections and malnutrition.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 06/21/2018.


  • American Liver Foundation. Alcohol-Related Liver Disease. Accessed 6/22/2018.
  • PubMed Health. How does the liver work? Accessed 6/22/2018.
  • Basra G, Basra S, Parupudi S. Symptoms and signs of acute alcoholic hepatitis. World J Hepatol. 2011 May 27; 3(5):118–120. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v3.i5.118
  • Lucey MR, Mathurin P, Morgan TR. Alcoholic Hepatitis. N Engl J Med 2009; 360:2758-2769 DOI: 10.1056/NEJMra0805786

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