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  • Guang Chen

Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis, a condition characterized by advanced fibrosis and architectural distortion of the liver, can lead to several serious complications. Let’s explore these complications and discuss some preventive measures:

  1. Gastrointestinal Varices and Bleeding:

  • Description: Cirrhosis can cause dilation of blood vessels (varices) in the gastrointestinal tract, especially in the esophagus and stomach. These varices are prone to rupture and cause life-threatening bleeding.

  • Prevention:

  • Regular screening for varices in patients with cirrhosis.

  • Medications (such as beta-blockers) to reduce the risk of bleeding.

  • Endoscopic procedures (band ligation or sclerotherapy) to treat existing varices.

  1. Spontaneous Bacterial Peritonitis (SBP):

  • Description: SBP is an infection of the fluid in the abdominal cavity (ascites) that occurs without an obvious source.

  • Prevention:

  • Antibiotics (prophylactic or early treatment) to prevent or manage SBP.

  • Adequate control of ascites.

  1. Hepatorenal Syndrome (HRS):

  • Description: HRS is kidney dysfunction that develops in patients with cirrhosis due to impaired blood flow to the kidneys.

  • Prevention:

  • Close monitoring of kidney function.

  • Treating underlying causes (such as infections or dehydration).

  1. Hepatopulmonary Syndrome (HPS):

  • Description: HPS is characterized by abnormal lung function due to blood vessel dilation in the lungs.

  • Prevention:

  • Oxygen therapy to improve oxygen levels.

  • Liver transplantation may be considered in severe cases.

  1. Hepatocellular Carcinoma (HCC):

  • Description: Cirrhosis increases the risk of developing liver cancer (HCC).

  • Prevention:

  • Regular surveillance with imaging (ultrasound or MRI) to detect early-stage HCC.

  • Treating underlying liver disease and avoiding risk factors (such as alcohol and viral hepatitis).

  1. Chronic Liver Failure:

  • Description: Cirrhosis progressively impairs liver function, leading to liver failure.

  • Prevention:

  • Managing underlying liver disease.

  • Abstaining from alcohol.


Remember that early intervention and close monitoring are crucial for preventing and managing these complications. It is important that you work with your health professional to optimise your liver health.

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