what is Cirrhosis


Liver cirrhosis; Cryptogenic chronic liver disease

Cirrhosis is scarring of the liver and poor liver function. It is the final phase of chronic liver disease.

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Cirrhosis is the end result of chronic liver damage caused by chronic liver diseases. Common causes of chronic liver disease in the United States include:

Other causes of cirrhosis include:


Symptoms may develop gradually, or there may be no symptoms.

When symptoms do occur, they can include:

  • Confusion or problems thinking

  • Impotence, loss of interest in sex, and breast development (gynecomastia) in men

  • Loss of appetite

  • Nausea and vomiting

  • Nosebleeds or bleeding gums

  • Pale or clay-colored stools

  • Small, red spider-like blood vessels on the skin

  • Swelling or fluid buildup of the legs (edema) and in the abdomen (ascites)

  • Vomiting blood or blood in stools

  • Weakness

  • Weight loss

  • Yellow color in the skin, mucus membranes, or eyes (jaundice)

Signs and tests

During a physical examination the health care provider may find:

  • An enlarged liver or spleen

  • Excess breast tissue

  • Expanded (distended) abdomen, as a result of too much fluid

  • Reddened palms

  • Red spider-like blood vessels on the skin

  • Small testicles

  • Widened (dilated) veins in the abdomen wall

  • Yellow eyes or skin (jaundice)

Tests can reveal liver problems including:


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