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Cirrhosis of the liver

Cirrhosis (si-roh-sis) of the liver is caused by progressive scarring from liver inflammation. This can be caused by conditions such as chronic hepatitis, alcohol abuse or fatty liver disease.

Cirrhosis can be diagnosed by radiology testing such as computed tomography (CT), ultrasound or magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or via a needle biopsy of the liver. A new imaging technique called elastography, which can be performed with ultrasound or MRI, can also diagnosis cirrhosis. There is currently no cure for cirrhosis. Your doctor may treat your symptoms caused by cirrhosis by recommending lifestyle changes, medication, or transjugular intrahepatic portosystemic shunt (TIPS). Liver transplantation is also an option for some patients. What is cirrhosis of the liver?

Cirrhosis of the liver is a disease due to progressive scarring of the liver caused by various conditions such as chronic hepatitis, biliary disease, fatty liver and alcohol abuse. The scarring reduces the ability of your liver to function normally.

Cirrhosis also results in a liver that is "stiff" which reduces blood flow into the liver, a condition called portal hypertension. This can result in an enlarged spleen, ascites and severe gastrointestinal (GI) bleeding from dilated blood vessels (called varices) that can rupture. Once a liver reaches a stage of cirrhosis, the damage is irreversible, and advanced stages can be fatal.

Symptoms of cirrhosis are often not detectable until damage to the liver is in an advanced stage. Symptoms can include:

Nausea/Loss of appetite/Weight gain/ascites formation/Jaundice/Itchy skin/Fatigue/Bruising easily/Bloating