December 1, 2015
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Liver (Anatomy and Function) (cont.)

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What diseases affect the liver?

Many diseases may affect the liver directly or as a consequence of an illness or disease that begins in another organ.

Fatty liver disease


  • Cirrhosis of the liver describes a condition with scarring of the liver that is not reversible and may lead to liver failure.
  • Alcohol abuse causes cirrhosis of the liver and is the most common cause of liver disease in North America.


Infections may affect the liver, including:


Hepatitis is an infection of the liver that causes liver inflammation.

  • Hepatitis A is often spread by poor sanitary habits including poor handwashing and may be transmitted by food handlers. It tends to be self-limited.
  • Hepatitis B and hepatitis C are spread by contact with infected body fluids.
  • Hepatitis D is spread in conjunction with hepatitis B and needs the B virus for it to survive in the body and cause liver damage.
  • Hepatitis E is a food or water borne infection.
  • There are vaccinations available to prevent hepatitis A and hepatitis B.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 4/16/2014


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