Chronic Liver Disease
Complications of Cirrhosis
Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease
Viral Hepatitis
 

Chronic Liver Disease

There are many different diseases that can cause liver disease. Chronic liver disease refers to a cause of liver irritation that has persisted for longer than 6 months, and is likely to continue to cause liver irritation until it is treated. Irritation of the liver can result in the formation of scar tissue, or fibrosis, within the liver. As the liver develops more and more fibrosis, it leads to the development of cirrhosis. When the liver becomes cirrhotic, the normally smooth liver becomes bumpy, or nodular. Having cirrhosis is a risk factor for developing liver cancer.  Although the liver can regenerate, once it develops into cirrhosis, it is highly unlikely that it can return to a non-cirrhotic state.

 

 (picture courtesy of nature.com)

The pictures above represent the various stages of scarring, as shown by the bluish-grey lines connecting the large pink blobs. In the first picture, there is almost no scarring, or fibrosis, but in the last picture (lower right), scar tissue connects all of the pinkish shapes. The last picture represents cirrhosis.

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