Chronic Liver Disease

Chronic Liver Disease

The term chronic liver disease can apply to many diseases and disorders that cause the liver to function improperly or cease functioning. Abnormal results of liver function tests often suggest chronic liver disease.

Chronic Liver Disease and Cirrhosis

Chronic liver disease that causes scarring of the liver (fibrosis - nodular regeneration) and liver dysfunction can cause cirrhosis. This often has many complications, including accumulation of fluid in the abdomen (ascites), bleeding disorders (coagulopathy), increased pressure in the blood vessels (portal hypertension), and confusion or a change in the level of consciousness (hepatic encephalopathy).

Common causes of chronic liver disease in the US include hepatitis C infection and long-term alcohol abuse. Hepatitis C is now the most common reason for liver transplantation in the US. Other causes of cirrhosis include hepatitis B, medications, autoimmune inflammation of the liver, disorders of the drainage system of the liver (the biliary system), and metabolic disorders of iron and copper (hemochromatosis and Wilson's disease).

 

 

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Last Updated: 12-05-2014
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