Liver cirrhosis is a chronic degenerative disease which is the result of a chronic, recurrent liver damage caused by different agents such as virus B and virus C, alcohol, drugs, autoimmune mechanisms or genetic disorders. The cirrhotic liver presents a diffuse alteration of the histological architecture with nodules and intense fibrosis. To date, the diagnosis of cirrhosis does not require liver biopsy in most cases, because symptoms and signs of portal hypertension combined with the ultrasonographic morpho logical evidences are enough. Cirrhosis can be compensated or decompensated. In the former condition the patient is often asymptomatic, whereas in the latter there are one or more complications such as asci tes, encephalopathy, variceal bleeding or jaundice. Complications needs to be treated by specific thera pies, but the unique treatment which can substantially improve patient survival is liver transplantation. Many cirrhotics die because of liver failure or portal hypertension-related complications but a similar number die because of hepatocarcinoma (HCC). HCC occurs in about 3% of patients every year, and it is estimated to involve at least 40% of patients during the natural history of the disease.
|Translated title of the contribution||Liver cirrhosis|
|Journal||Argomenti di Gastroenterologia Clinica|
|Publication status||Published - Sep 2007|
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