Cirrhosis of the liver refers to a disease in which normal liver cells are replaced by scar tissue caused by alcohol and viral hepatitis B and C. This disease leads to abnormalities in the liver's ability to handle toxins and blood flow, causing internal bleeding, kidney failure, mental confusion, coma, body fluid accumulation, and frequent infections.
Symptoms include yellowing of the skin (jaundice), itching, and fatigue.
The prognosis is good for some people with cirrhosis of the liver, and the survival can be up to 12 years; however the life expectancy is about 6 months to 2 years for people with severe cirrhosis with major complications. Read more: Cirrhosis (Liver) Article
Multimedia: Slideshows, Images & Quizzes
Hepatitis C Quiz: What is Hepatitis C?
How many Americans have hepatitis C? Take this quiz to learn the facts about this chronic disease....
Liver Disease Quiz: Fatty Liver Disease, Cirrhosis & Symptoms
What is liver disease? Take the Liver Disease Quiz and test your knowledge about this organ and its function....
Picture of Hepatitis B
Inflammation of the liver due to the hepatitis B virus (HBV), once thought to be passed only through blood products. See a...
Hepatitis C, Hep B, Hep A: Symptoms, Causes, Treatment
What is hepatitis? Hepatitis A, B, and C spread in different ways, causing mild to serious effects on the liver. Learn about...
Picture of Liver
Front View of the Liver. The liver is a large, meaty organ that sits on the right side of the belly. See a picture of the Liver...
Picture of Jaundice
Often, physiologic jaundice -- the type seen in most newborns -- does not require treatment. See a picture of Jaundice and learn...
Hepatitis: How Do You Get Hepatitis A, B, and C?
Hepatitis C virus and hepatitis B can make an infected person very sick and they are risk factors for liver cancer, liver...
Digestive Disorders: Common Misconceptions
Learn about the digestive system and common misconceptions of digestive disorders. Read about what causes ulcers, heartburn,...
Hepatitis C (Hep C) Symptoms and Treatment
What is Hepatitis C (Hep C, HVC)? Learn about hepatitis c symptoms, how you get hepatitis c, contagiousness, and hepatitis C...
Alcohol Abuse: 12 Health Risks of Chronic Heavy Drinking
Read about the health risks of chronic heavy or binge drinking. Anemia, cancer, gout, cardiovascular disease and many more...
The 18 Most Expensive U.S. Medical Conditions
What are the most expensive medical conditions? Learn about heart conditions, brain disorders, back pain and many more expensive...
IMAGESSee a medical illustration of the liver plus our entire medical gallery of human anatomy and physiology See Images
Related Disease Conditions
Gynecomastia (Enlarged Male Breasts Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments)
Gynecomastia, an enlargement of the gland tissue in the male breast is caused by an imbalance of hormones. Certain medical...
Edema is the swelling of tissues as a result of excess water accumulation. Peripheral edema occurs in the feet and legs. There...
Bilirubin is a waste product of the normal breakdown of red blood cells in the liver. Normal bilirubin levels vary from lab to...
Ascites, the accumulation of fluid in the abdominal cavity is most commonly caused by cirrhosis of the liver. Some of the other...
Liver disease can be cause by a variety of things including infection (hepatitis), diseases, for example, gallstones, high...
Internal bleeding occurs when an artery or vein is damaged and blood to escapes the circulatory system and collects inside the...
Enlarged Spleen (Splenomegaly) Symptoms, Signs, Causes,Treatment
An enlarged spleen or splenomegaly, is generally caused by other diseases or conditions such as infections, cancers, blood...
Itch (Itching or Pruritus)
Itching can be a common problem. Itches can be localized or generalized. There are many causes of itching to include: infection...
Insulin resistance is the diminished ability of cells to respond to the action of insulin in transporting glucose (sugar) from...
Liver cancer is cancer of the liver cells (hepatocellular carcinoma) or of the ducts in the liver (cholangiocarcinoma). Liver...
The Digestion Process (Organs and Functions)
Digestion is the complex process of turning the food you eat into the energy you need to survive. The digestive process also...
Liver (Anatomy and Function)
The liver is the largest gland and organ in the body. There are a variety of liver diseases caused by liver inflammation,...
Encephalopathy means brain disease, damage, or malfunction. Causes of encephalopathy are varied and numerous. The main symptom of...
Hepatitis C (HCV, Hep C)
Hepatitis C is an inflammation of the liver due to the hepatitis C virus (HCV), which is usually spread by blood transfusion,...
Drug-Induced Liver Disease
Drug-induced liver diseases are diseases of the liver that are caused by: physician-prescribed medications, OTC...
Hepatitis (Viral Hepatitis, A, B, C, D, E, G)
Hepatitis is most often viral, due to infection with one of the hepatitis viruses (A, B, C, D, E, F (not confirmed), and G) or...
Fatty Liver (NASH)
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease or NASH occurs due to the accumulation of abnormal amounts of fat within the liver. Fatty liver...
Hemochromatosis (Iron Overload)
Hereditary hemochromatosis (iron overload) is an inherited disorder in which there is excessive accumulation of iron in the body....
Symptoms of 12 Serious Diseases and Health Problems
Learn how to recognize early warning signs and symptoms of serious diseases and health problems, for example, chronic cough,...
Jaundice (Hyperbilirubinemia) in Adults
Jaundice (hyperbilirubinemia) in adults may be caused by a variety of medical diseases or conditions. Some cases of jaundice can...
Alcoholism is a disease that includes alcohol craving and continued drinking despite repeated alcohol-related problems, such as...
Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (PBC)
Primary Biliary Cirrhosis (PBS) is a liver disease in which bile building up in the organ damages bile ducts. Ultimately, this...
Hepatitis B (HBV, Hep B)
The hepatitis B virus (HBV, hep B) is a unique, coated DNA virus belonging to the Hepadnaviridae family of viruses. The course of...
Peritonitis is a bacterial infection inside of the abdomen. Some doctors choose to group the causes of peritonitis into five...
Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis (PSC)
Primary sclerosing cholangitis or PSC is a disease of the liver. The cause of PSC is not known. Symptoms may include itching,...
Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (Symptoms, Treatment, Life Expectancy)
Alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency (AATD) is an inherited disorder caused by mutations in the SERPINA1 gene. People with the...
Hepatitis A and B Vaccinations
Hepatitis A and hepatitis B are the two most commnon viruses that infect the liver. Hepatitis A and Hepatitis B can be prevented...
Varices are dilated blood vessels usually in the esophagus or stomach. Symptoms of bleeding varices include vomiting blood, black...
Hepatitis C Cure (Symptoms, Transmission, Treatments, and Cost)
Hepatitis is inflammation of the liver. There are a variety of toxins, diseases, illicit drugs, medications, bacterial and viral...
Hospice is a service that offers support, resources, and assistance to terminally ill patients and their families. In such late...
Primary Biliary Cirrhosis Treatment (PBC)
Primary biliary sclerosis (PBC) is thought to be an autoimmune disorder that involves the deterioration of the liver's small bile...
Is There a Cure for Cirrhosis of the Liver?
Liver cirrhosis results from disease- or chemical-induced injury to the liver over a sustained period. The injury kills liver...
Liver Cancer (Hepatocellular Cancer) Prevention
Avoiding certain risk factors (such as hepatitis B and C, cirrhosis, and aflatoxin) can lower one's risk of developing liver...
Local ResourcesFind a local Gastroenterologist in your town
Treatment & Diagnosis
- Liver Blood Tests (Normal, Low, and High Ranges & Results)
- Ferritin Blood Test
- CT Scan vs. MRI (Differences between Machines, Costs, Uses)
- Triglycerides (Tests and Lowering Your Triglyceride Levels)
- CA 125 Ovarian Tumor Marker Blood Test
- MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imaging Scan)
- Alpha-Fetoprotein Blood Test
- Liver Biopsy
- Liver Resection
- CT Scan (Computerized Tomography)
- TIPS (Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt)
- Liver Transplant
- Liver Disease FAQs
- Hepatitis C FAQs
- What Is a Hospitalist?
- Iron Overload -- Hemochromatosis
- Smoking With Liver Disease - A No-No
- Chronic Viral Hepatitis, Alcoholism, Cirrhosis Linked to Liver Cancer
- Digestive Disease Myths
- Biopsy: Questions to Ask Your Doctor Before a Biopsy
- Can a CAT Scan Falsely Diagnose Liver Cancer?
- Abdominal Pain: Questions to Ask Your Doctor
- Ask the Experts - Gastroentrology (Digestion)
Medications & Supplements
- Aldactone (spironolactone)
- furosemide (Lasix)
- Thiazides (Diuretics)
- torsemide (Demadex)
- vitamin K-1, phytonadione (Mephyton)
- colestipol (Colestid)
- lactulose laxative (Enulose, Generlac)
- cholestyramine (Questran)
- triamterene and hydrochlorothiazide
- vitamin k - oral, Mephyton
- hydrochlorothiazide (Microzide, Hydrodiuril)
- mycophenolate mofetil (CellCept)
- Artemisia absinthium (Wormwood)
- bumetanide, Bumex (discontinued brand)
- Epclusa (sofosbuvir and velpatasvir)
- Lasix (furosemide) vs. thiazide diuretics
- boceprevir (Victrelis)
- telaprevir (Incivek)
- Harvoni (ledipasvir and sofosbuvir)
- Viekira Pak (ombitasvir, paritaprevir, ritonavir, and dasabuvir)
Prevention & Wellness
- Two Lives Saved in Rare 'Paired' Liver Donation
- Big Gains Against Hep C Possible With Big Investment
- Liver Transplants Tied to Alcohol Use Doubled Since 2002
- Race May Matter for Liver Transplant Success
- Health Tip: Help Fight Fatty Liver Disease
- Label Mix-up Spurs Recall of Accord Blood Pressure Meds
- U.S. Deaths From Liver Disease Rising Rapidly
- Coffee May Do Your Liver Good
- Doptelet Approved for Liver Disease Patients Slated for a Medical Procedure
- Red and Processed Meats Linked to Liver Woes
- Mavyret Approved for Hepatitis C
- Researchers Grow Functioning Liver Tissue in Mice
- Can Coffee, Tea Protect the Liver From 'Western' Diet?
- Cirrhosis Could Raise Stroke Risk
- New Hepatitis C Treatments More Effective, Tolerable: FDA
- Hepatitis Infection May Raise Risk for Parkinson's Disease
- Better Efforts Could Help Rid the U.S. of Hepatitis B, C: Report
- Obesity in Youth Tied to Higher Odds for Liver Cancer in Men
- Baby Boomers Get an 'F' for Hep C Testing
- U.S. Vaccine Guidelines for Flu, HPV Updated
- Even One High-Fat Meal Can Harm Your Liver, Study Finds
- Where You Live May Determine How You Die
- More Than Half of Americans Have Chronic Health Problem: Study
- Would Weaker Beer Help Reduce Alcohol's Harms?
- Teen Obesity May Mean Liver Disease Later
- Ocaliva Approved for Rare Liver Disease
- Hepatitis C Patients More Likely to Drink, Study Finds
- Generic Hepatitis C Drugs as Effective as Pricey Brand Names: Study
- Should You Stop Drinking?
- Pricey Hepatitis C Drugs Denied to Almost Half of Medicaid Patients: Study
- Illnesses, Deaths Spur FDA Warning on Hepatitis C Drugs
- Tough Alcohol Policies Linked to Lower Death Rates From Liver Damage
- Liver Damage From Hepatitis C More Widespread Than Thought
- Experimental Drug Combo Shows Promise Against Hepatitis C
- Hepatitis C Drugs Will 'Strain Budgets' at Current Prices: Study
- Hispanics May Develop Alcoholic Liver Disease Earlier
- New MRI Test May Help Diagnose Liver Condition in Kids
- Daily Drinking May Raise Risk of Liver Cirrhosis, Study Warns
- Many With Hepatitis C Missing Out on Treatment, Study Finds
- Drug Regimen Cures Hepatitis C in Most Liver Transplant Patients in Study
- Pricey Hepatitis Drug a Good Bet in U.S. Prisons, Study Says
- Even Decaf Coffee May Help the Liver
- Hepatitis C Combo Pill May Cure Those Who Can Afford It
- Hepatitis C Could Become Rare Disease in 20 Years: Study
- Daughters Drink More Than Their Moms Did -- in Australia, at Least
- Task Force Recommends Hep B Screening for High-Risk People
- Screening May Help Boost Liver Cancer Survival Rates
- FAQ: The High Cost of Hepatitis C Drugs
- Cure Rate for Experimental Hepatitis C Drug Tops 95 Percent
- Could Coffee Lower Death Risk From Liver Cirrhosis?
- Neanderthal DNA Influences Modern Humans: Study
- James Bond's Dirty Little Spy Secret: He's an Alcoholic
- FDA Approves New Treatment for Hepatitis C Infection
- Study Finds Too Few With Hepatitis C Start or Stick With Treatment
- Study: Coffee Might Lower Risk of Liver Cancer
- Hepatitis B Vaccination Cuts Deaths From Liver Disease, Cancer: Study
- More Drugs Show Promise in Fighting Hepatitis C
- Too Much Drinking, Weight May Harm Liver
- One Man's Harrowing Battle With Hepatitis C
- Antiviral Therapy May Cut Recurrence of Hepatitis B-Linked Liver Cancer
- Antiviral Therapy for Hepatitis C May Thwart Liver Cancer
- Death Rates Drop for 5 Top Causes of Death
- Follow-Up Lacking for Babies After Hepatitis B Vaccination: CDC
- CDC: All Baby Boomers Should Get Screened for Hepatitis C
- Hepatitis C Treatment May Hamper Kids' Growth
- Vitamin B12 May Boost Hep C Treatment
- Milk Thistle Doesn't Help Hepatitis C
- Screening for Other Health Problems May Aid COPD Survival
- Hepatitis C Now Kills More Americans Than HIV
- Statins May Stave Off Liver Cancer in People With Hepatitis B
- Hepatitis B Vaccine Recommended for Adults With Diabetes
- Curry Spice Offers Hope for Tendinitis Pain
- 'Explosion' of Sex-Spread Hepatitis C in HIV-Positive Men
- FDA Panel Backs 2 Hepatitis C Drugs
- FDA Panel Urges Approval of Hepatitis C Drug
- Hepatitis C Infection Rates Are Stable
- Experimental Drug May Treat Hepatitis C
Subscribe to MedicineNet's General Health Newsletter