(Cirrhosis of the Liver)
Dennis Lee, MD
Dr. Lee was born in Shanghai, China, and received his college and medical training in the United States. He is fluent in English and three Chinese dialects. He graduated with chemistry departmental honors from Harvey Mudd College. He was appointed president of AOA society at UCLA School of Medicine. He underwent internal medicine residency and gastroenterology fellowship training at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.
- Cirrhosis facts
- What is cirrhosis?
- Why does cirrhosis cause problems?
- What are the signs and symptoms of cirrhosis?
- What are the complications of cirrhosis?
- What are the common causes of cirrhosis?
- How is cirrhosis diagnosed and evaluated?
- How is cirrhosis treated?
- What is new and in the future for cirrhosis?
- Liver Disease FAQs
- Patient Comments: Cirrhosis of The Liver - Symptoms
- Patient Comments: Cirrhosis of The Liver - Treatments
- Patient Comments: Cirrhosis of The Liver - Causes
- Patient Comments: Cirrhosis Of The Liver - Diagnosis
- Patient Comments: Cirrhosis of The Liver - Experience
- Find a local Gastroenterologist in your town
- Cirrhosis is a complication of liver disease which involves loss of liver cells and irreversible scarring of the liver.
- Alcohol and viral hepatitis B and C are common causes of cirrhosis, although there are many other causes.
- Cirrhosis can cause weakness, loss of appetite, easy bruising, yellowing of the skin (jaundice), itching, and fatigue.
- Diagnosis of cirrhosis can be suggested by history, physical examination and blood tests, and can be confirmed by liver biopsy.
- Complications of cirrhosis include edema and ascites, spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, bleeding from varices, hepatic encephalopathy, hepatorenal syndrome, hepatopulmonary syndrome, hypersplenism, and liver cancer.
- Treatment of cirrhosis is designed to prevent further damage to the liver, treat complications of cirrhosis, and preventing or detecting liver cancer early.
- Transplantation of the liver is becoming an important option for treating patients with advanced cirrhosis.
What is cirrhosis?
Cirrhosis is a complication of many liver diseases characterized by abnormal structure and function of the liver. The diseases that lead to cirrhosis do so because they injure and kill liver cells, after which the inflammation and repair that is associated with the dying liver cells causes scar tissue to form. The liver cells that do not die multiply in an attempt to replace the cells that have died. This results in clusters of newly-formed liver cells (regenerative nodules) within the scar tissue. There are many causes of cirrhosis including chemicals (such as alcohol, fat, and certain medications), viruses, toxic metals (such as iron and copper that accumulate in the liver as a result of genetic diseases), and autoimmune liver disease in which the body's immune system attacks the liver.
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