Cirrhosis of the Liver

Cirrhosis of the Liver is a topic covered in the 5-Minute Clinical Consult.

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A chronic hepatocellular disease with inflammation, necrosis, and fibrosis potentially leading to liver failure and/or cancer


  • Predominant age: 40 to 50 years old
  • Predominant sex: male > female; more women get cirrhosis from alcohol abuse.
  • Ninth leading cause of death among U.S. adults

Etiology and Pathophysiology

  • Chronic hepatitis C (26%)
  • Alcohol abuse (21%)
  • Hepatitis C with alcoholic liver disease (15%)
  • Nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)/obesity (~10%)
  • Hepatitis B plus hepatitis D infection (15%)
  • Other: hemochromatosis, autoimmune hepatitis, primary biliary cirrhosis, secondary biliary cirrhosis, primary sclerosing cholangitis, Wilson disease, α1-antitrypsin deficiency, granulomatous disease (e.g., sarcoidosis); drug-induced liver disease (e.g., methotrexate, α-methyldopa, amiodarone); venous outflow obstruction (e.g., Budd-Chiari syndrome, veno-occlusive disease); chronic right-sided heart failure; tricuspid regurgitation; and rare genetic, metabolic, and infectious causes

Hemochromatosis, Wilson disease, and α1-antitrypsin deficiency in adults are associated with cirrhosis.

Risk Factors

Alcohol abuse, intravenous drug abuse, obesity, blood transfusion

General Prevention

  • Mitigate risk factors (e.g., alcohol abuse); >80% of chronic liver disease is preventable.
  • Limit alcohol consumption and advise weight loss in overweight or obese patients.
    • Elevated BMI and alcohol have an additive effect on liver disease (1).

Commonly Associated Conditions

Diabetes, alcoholism, drug abuse, depression, obesity

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TY - ELEC T1 - Cirrhosis of the Liver ID - 116134 ED - Baldor,Robert A, ED - Domino,Frank J, ED - Golding,Jeremy, ED - Stephens,Mark B, BT - 5-Minute Clinical Consult, Updating UR - PB - Wolters Kluwer ET - 27 DB - Medicine Central DP - Unbound Medicine ER -