Cirrhosis is a chronic liver disease that causes advanced scarring of liver tissue. The liver can repair many injuries, but cirrhosis is usually irreversible. While it may be caused by any condition that affects the liver, in the U.S. it is commonly associated with viral hepatitis and alcoholism. Other significant causes of cirrhosis include nonalcoholic fatty liver disease and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis, both associated with the accumulation of fat in the liver, which public health officials speculate may be linked to rising rates of obesity in the U.S.
Cirrhosis can cause decreased liver function, chronic liver failure, bruising, bleeding, muscle wasting, ascites, gynecomastia, portal hypertension – increased blood pressure in the vein that carries blood from the digestive organs to the liver – and a number of other problems. Some people may experience severe symptoms and complications while others, with similar liver damage, will have few to moderate symptoms. Cirrhosis increases the risk of developing liver cancer.
- Liver biopsy
For a complete list of tests, see the article on Cirrhosis.