Cirrhosis (; neologism from kirrhos “yellowish” and the suffix -osis (-) meaning “condition”) is a result of advanced liver disease. It is characterized by replacement of liver tissue by fibrosis (scar tissue) and regenerative nodules (lumps that occur due to attempted repair of damaged tissue). These changes lead to loss of liver function. Cirrhosis is most commonly caused by alcoholism, hepatitis B and hepatitis C, and fatty liver disease, but has many other possible causes. Some cases are idiopathic (of unknown cause). Ascites (fluid retention in the abdominal cavity) is the most common complication of cirrhosis. It is associated with a poor quality of life, increased risk of infection, and a poor long-term outcome. Other potentially life-threatening complications are hepatic encephalopathy (confusion and coma) and bleeding from esophageal varices. Cirrhosis is irreversible, and treatment usually focuses on preventing progression and complications. In advanced stages of cirrhosis the only option is a liver transplant.
by MyBiosource Editorial Team | Feb 16, 2023