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Diagnosis and Tests for Liver Cirrhosis
  • Upper Basement Sahyadri Multispeciality
    Hospital, Karve Road,Deccan Gymkhana, Pune-04
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Diagnosis and Tests for Liver Cirrhosis

by | Jul 24, 2020 | Liver Cirrhosis Blog

Cirrhosis is the last stage of liver disease. Liver conditions are impacted by hepatitis and chronic alcoholism. The liver is the only organ that can repair itself. Thus, if your liver is injured by excessive alcohol consumption, the damage cannot repair itself. In this process scars tissue formation take place. In the progression of Cirrhosis, more and more scar tissues are formed. This makes it problematic for the functioning of the liver. Advanced cirrhosis can be threatening to life.

This is because the liver damage by cirrhosis cannot be reversed. However, if liver cirrhosis can be detected early, serious liver conditions can be avoided. Cirrhosis is a serious liver complication involving the damage of liver cells and nonreversible liver scars. If you are suffering from viral Hepatitis B and C while you are excessive alcohol consumption. Then, you might develop an extreme condition of liver cirrhosis.

Liver cirrhosis complications involve –

  • Swelling of the abdomen, hip, thigh, ankle, and foot.
  • Unprompted bacterial peritonitis
  • Varices bleeding
  • Liver Cancer
  • Hypersplenism
  • Hepatorenal syndrome

 

What Signs Indicate Liver Cirrhosis

One of the major concerns for liver disease is that no specific signs and symptoms are showcased. The followings are some potential signs-

  • Your skin will turn yellow due to bilirubin accumulation.
  • You might eat less and feel weak.
  • You will experience itching is several parts of the body.
  • Your skin will be easily bruised due to the absence of blood clotting factors

The liver disease showcases symptoms only when the cirrhosis is developed. 

What can be the stages of Liver Cirrhosis?

As mention above, Liver Cirrhosis is the last stage of liver damage. In the initial stages, liver inflammation takes place. That further leads to fibrosis if not properly treated. In this stage, the liver heals with proper medication, treatments, and lifestyles.

Stage 1- >Cirrhosis involves liver scarring with very few symptoms. This stage is less complicated and is considered compensated cirrhosis.

Stage 2- In this stage varices are developed and the hypertension portal is worsened.

Stage 3- The third stage abdomen swelling and liver scarring. This is a stage of decompensated cirrhosis with severe complications. Sever liver conditions can lead to liver failure.

Stage 4- This possibly the life-threatening stage. Individuals develop End-Stage Liver Disease (ESLD) which can prove fatal without a liver transplant.

 

Liver Cirrhosis Tests

Liver Cirrhosis is majorly caused by liver scarring as a result of inflammation. Cirrhosis is diagnosed by testing through Radiology. Computed tomography (CT), ultrasound, MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging, and liver Biopsy is used for detecting liver cirrhosis.

Also, a new imaging technique has been developed known as elastography. This technology is used with MRI for diagnosing cirrhosis. If your doctor detects liver cirrhosis, more than one imaging test is performed. Cirrhosis is firstly detected through blood tests and routine check-ups.

For a confirmed diagnosis, laboratory and several imaging tests are performed. If you have developed liver cirrhosis, your doctor will likely suggest tests for monitoring the disease progression and complications. Monitoring of esophageal varices and liver cancer is mandatory.

Laboratory Tests: Your doctor might order blood tests for checking symptoms. Liver malfunctions symptoms include an excess of bilirubin and the presence of enzymes that indicates damages in the liver. International Normalized Ratio (INR) is also checked. As they indicate the blood clotting capabilities in the body.

Abdominal Computed tomography (CT) scan: The procedure is combined with special X-ray equipment and advanced computers for producing digital images of the liver. Thus, the severity of liver cirrhosis and disease can be determined.

Abdominal Ultrasound: Ultrasound is a kind of imaging procedure that utilizes sound waves for creating images. It creates digital photos of abdominals inside, pelvis, and liver. So, Doppler Ultrasound evaluates the flow of blood in the liver.

Elastography – This procedure examines your liver stiffness. Elastography diagnoses the severity of liver scarring. If the liver fibrosis is not treated, liver conditions can be rigorous, leading to irreversible conditions like liver cirrhosis. This treatment method can detect liver fibrosis earlier than imaging tests.

Body Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)- MRI is done through a magnetic field, radio frequencies, and computer for the production of detailed pictures of liver damage.

Magnetic Resonance Cholangiopancreatography (MRCP)- MRCP is a special protocol of MRI created for evaluating liver parts and gallbladder. Thus, special parts are named a biliary system.

Biopsy- In this process, parts of liver tissues are collected and examined. Thereby, the pathology doctor examines and evaluates the extent and severity of liver damage. A biopsy is performed by the radiologists under the guidance of the ultrasound process.

 

Liver Cirrhosis Treatment

Liver Cirrhosis Treatment is dependent on the severity of your liver damage. The treatment ensures the slow progression of tissue scars, which helps in treating symptoms of liver cirrhosis. You might be hospitalized if you are detected severe damage in the liver.

In the early stages, liver damage can be minimized. This can be done by treating the underlying cause.

Treating dependent on Alcohol: If you consume excessive alcohol, you should immediately stop drinking. However, if you are facing difficulties in removing alcohol addiction, then you can recommend a doctor for treating alcohol addiction.

Weight Loss- If you have put on too much weight, then might develop fatty liver disease. That further results in Liver Cirrhosis. You can adapt a healthy lifestyle while also control your blood vessels. This will help in losing weight and reducing fats in the liver.

Treating causes and symptoms of cirrhosis- Treating Cirrhosis in the early stages can slow the progress of severe liver damage. Consumption of appropriate medication can delay the progression.

Medications for controlling Hepatitis- If you are a patient of hepatitis, you are prone to further liver damage. Treating Hepatitis can restrict the damage to liver cells.

Liver Cirrhosis is the last stage of liver damage. The disorder does not show any symptoms until the last stage appears. Imaging and laboratory tests can help in the detection of the severity of liver conditions. Treatments of the underlying cause can delay the progression of Liver Cirrhosis.

Written By

Dr. Bipin Vibhute

Liver and Multi-Organ Transplant Surgeon,

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