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To understand the etiology of acute viral hepatitis in an endemic area of hepatitis A and B, serological markers of hepatitis were studied by radioimmunoassay in a consecutive series of 145 adult patients with biopsy-verified acute viral hepatitis. Seven (4.8%) were classified as hepatitis A, 92 (63.5%) as hepatitis B, and 46 (31.7%) as hepatitis non-A, non-B. Most persons with severe acute viral hepatitis were hepatitis B antigen (HBsAg)-positive, and hepatitis A appears to play a minor role if any. The evidence also implies that non-B hepatitis may have occurred intercurrently in chronic HBsAg carriers in this area.