cirrhosis

cirrhotic /si rot"ik/, adj.cirrhosed, adj.
/si roh"sis/, n. Pathol.
a disease of the liver characterized by increase of connective tissue and alteration in gross and microscopic makeup.
[1830-40; < Gk kirrh(ós) orange-tawny + -OSIS]

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Degeneration of functioning liver cells and their replacement with fibrous connective tissue, leading to scarring.

The most common cause is alcohol abuse with malnutrition. Others include bile duct obstruction, viral infection, toxins, iron or copper accumulation in liver cells, and syphilis. Jaundice, edema, and great abdominal swelling are common in all. Death usually results from internal bleeding or hepatic coma due to blood chemical imbalance.

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      irreversible change in the normal liver tissue that results in the degeneration of functioning liver cells and their replacement with fibrous connective tissue. Cirrhosis can have a number of causes; the term is applied whenever the end result is scarring of the liver.

      Laënnec, or portal, cirrhosis is primarily caused by excessive and chronic alcohol consumption. The relationship between alcohol and cirrhosis is unquestioned, but the mechanism of injury remains unknown. Besides cirrhosis, the affected person may show jaundice, gastrointestinal bleeding, and kidney failure.

      In the early stage of cirrhosis, the disease can be stabilized by abstention from alcohol and by an adequate diet. In this stage, the liver first enlarges; its outer capsule becomes smooth and stretched, and its colour turns yellow because of an increase in fat. Fibrous tissue and extra bile ducts may develop. In the next stage, the quantity of fibrous tissue increases so that the liver is granular. The blood vessels thicken, and their channels may become obstructed, which reduces blood flow in the organ. Complications at this stage include coma, kidney failure, jaundice, infection, and hemorrhages. In the advanced stage of the disease, the liver shrinks and the surface usually has a roughened appearance. The normal lobular structure of the liver is lost; there is no longer fat but only poorly functioning residual liver tissue.

      There are several other causes of cirrhosis besides alcohol consumption. Cirrhosis can result from viral infection, especially after infection by hepatitis B or C, glycogen storage diseases, cystic fibrosis, alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency, and obesity can also cause cirrhosis. In hemochromatosis an increased amount of iron is absorbed by the body and deposited in the liver cells. The liver becomes granular and nodular, and the iron particles may be so dense as to impair liver cell function. In Wilson disease, a hereditary condition, there is excess copper in the liver. The liver usually turns green from bile in the tissue, and enlargement, fibrosis, fat changes, and abscesses occur when the disease is chronic.

      The final complications of cirrhosis are usually the same no matter what the cause. High blood pressure in the portal vein can lead to hemorrhages in the esophagus and stomach; or the imbalance in blood chemicals from malfunctioning of the liver can affect the brain and cause hepatic coma. Hepatic coma usually starts with drowsiness and confusion and culminates in loss of consciousness. Jaundice may complicate any stage of cirrhosis. Edema—fluid retention in the tissues—and ascites, an accumulation of fluid in the peritoneal cavity that results in abdominal swelling, also are commonly seen.

      Treatment of cirrhosis depends on the cause. Liver damage caused by portal cirrhosis can be halted by abstention from alcohol. Cirrhosis resulting from hepatitis infection or Wilson disease is treated with medication.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Cirrhosis — Classification and external resources A person with massive ascites and caput medusae due to cirrhotic liver failure ICD 10 K …   Wikipedia

  • Cirrhosis — Cir*rho sis, n. [NL., fr. Gr. ? orange colored: cf. F. cirrhose. So called from the yellowish appearance which the diseased liver often presents when cut.] (Med.) A disease of the liver in which it usually becomes smaller in size and more dense… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Cirrhōsis — (gr.), krankhafter Proceß in manchen Drüsen, der Brustdrüse, der Niere, vorzugsweise aber der Leber, wodurch schwieliger, narbiger Schwund des Gewebes bedingt wird, s. Leber (granulirte) …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • Cirrhōsis — (griech.), eine durch Vermehrung der Bindegewebselemente auf Kosten der eigentlichen funktionellen elementaren Bestandteile drüsiger Organe etc. verursachte Verhärtung und Schrumpfung der Organe; die C. kommt besonders in Leber, Nieren und Lunge… …   Meyers Großes Konversations-Lexikon

  • Cirrhosis — Cirrhosis, Verhärtung oder Verschrumpfung eines Organs, z.B. der Leber, wobei sich auf oder in demselben rundliche, harte Körnchen bilden …   Herders Conversations-Lexikon

  • Cirrhosis — vgl. Zirrhose …   Das Wörterbuch medizinischer Fachausdrücke

  • cirrhosis — (n.) 1840s, coined in Modern Latin by French physician René Théophile Hyacinthe Laennec (1781 1826) with OSIS (Cf. osis) and Gk. kirrhos tawny, of unknown origin. So called for the orange yellow appearance of the diseased liver …   Etymology dictionary

  • cirrhosis — ► NOUN ▪ a chronic liver disease marked by degeneration of cells and thickening of tissue. DERIVATIVES cirrhotic adjective. ORIGIN from Greek kirrhos tawny (the colour of the liver in many cases) …   English terms dictionary

  • cirrhosis — [sə rō′sis] n. pl. cirrhoses [sə rō′sēz΄] [ModL < Gr kirrhos, tawny + OSIS: so named by R. T. H. Laënnec (1781 1826), Fr physician, because of the orange yellow appearance of the diseased liver] a degenerative disease in an organ of the body,… …   English World dictionary

  • cirrhosis — Endstage liver disease characterized by diffuse damage to hepatic parenchymal cells, with nodular regeneration, fibrosis, and disturbance of normal architecture; associated with failure in the function …   Medical dictionary

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