Cirrhosis

  • Definition

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


    Alternative Names

    Liver cirrhosis; Cryptogenic 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:

    • Hepatitis C infection (long-term infection)
    • Long-term alcohol abuse (see alcoholic liver disease)

    Other causes of cirrhosis include:

    • Autoimmune inflammation of the liver
    • Disorders of the drainage system of the liver (the biliary system), such as primary biliary cirrhosis and primary sclerosing cholangitis
    • Hepatitis B (long-term infection)
    • Medications
    • Metabolic disorders of iron and copper (hemochromatosis and Wilson's disease)
    • Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH)