Chronic liver disease

Abdomen | Gastroenterology | Chronic liver disease (Disease)


Chronic liver disease in the clinical context is a disease process of the liver that involves a process of progressive destruction and regeneration of the liver parenchyma leading to fibrosis and cirrhosis.

The symptoms associated with chronic liver disease depend on the level of degeneration within the liver. These can be: mental confusion, severe jaundice, blood clotting problems, or intestinal bleeding, nerve problems, male breast growth, Dupuytren’s contractions, hair loss, kidney failure, redness of palms, lack of appetite, testicular shrinkage, weakness, weight loss, itching, gallstones, and ascites.

Causes and Risk factors

Chronic liver disease causes can be any condition that results in the gradual degradation and renewal of the tissue cells with a body’s liver. The three commonest risk factors for CLD are excessive alcohol consumption; blood borne viruses, in particular Hepatitis B and C, and obesity.

Other causes are: viral causes: Cytomegalovirus (CMV) and Epstein Barr Virus (EBV); toxic and drugs: Amiodarone, Methotrexate and Nitrofurantoin; metabolic: non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, haemochromatosis and Wilsons Disease; autoimmune: Autoimmune chronic hepatitis; Primary biliary cirrhosis and Primary sclerosing cholangitis. Also, persons suffering from malnutrition and those who have tattoos are at risk of chronic liver problems.

Diagnosis and Treatment

Testing for chronic liver disease involves blood tests, x rays and a biopsy of the liver. The treatment of chronic liver disease depends on the cause. While some conditions may be treated with medications, others may require surgery or a transplant. ...