About the condition
It is scarring of the liver and poor liver function as a result of chronic damage to the liver. With mild cirrhosis, the liver can make repairs and continue its function in the body. However, with more advanced cirrhosis, more and more scar tissues form in the liver which cause the liver to gradually lose its ability to function normally.
Causes of the condition
There are many causes of cirrhosis. The common causes are chronic alcohol abuse, chronic viral hepatitis B or hepatitis C infection, autoimmune hepatitis, cryptogenic cirrhosis (cirrhosis due to unknown causes), and inherited disorder such as hemochromatosis (abnormal accumulation of iron) and Wilson’s disease (abnormal accumulation of copper).
The less common causes include unusual reaction to some drugs, and prolonged exposure to toxins.
Signs & symptoms
There is often no sign or symptom until the liver damage is already quite extensive.
- Bleeding easily
- Easy bruising
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Swelling of abdomen
- Swelling of legs
Diagnosis and treatment options
Test and Diagnosis
- Physical examination
- Upper endoscopy (EGD)
- Blood test
- Computerised tomography (CT) scan
- Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)
- Liver biopsy
The treatment given is aimed at preventing further damage to the liver and to manage the complications of cirrhosis. If cirrhosis progresses and becomes life-threatening, a liver transplant will then be considered.