Alcoholic hepatitis is inflammation of the liver caused by alcohol consumption. It may be acute or chronic. In the latter case, heavy alcohol use over a period of time can lead to alcoholic fatty liver, a type of steatohepatitis. Alcoholic hepatitis can lead to liver scarring and cirrhosis, and very frequently occurs in alcoholics who already have cirrhosis of the liver.
The patient who presents with alcoholic hepatitis is usually a chronic drinker with a recent episode of exceptionally heavy consumption. About 35% of problem drinkers will develop advanced liver disease.