Pathology of Hepatitis and Cirrhosis

Posted by e-Medical PPT Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Alcoholic liver disease is the major cause of liver disease in Western countries, (in Asian countries, viral hepatitis is the major cause). It arises from the excessive ingestion of alcohol.When alcohol damages the liver, the function of the organ is not immediately compromised as the liver has a tremendous capacity to regenerate and even when 75% of the liver is damaged, it continues to function as normal. When alcohol is consumed for a long time, it eventually results in liver scarring or what is known as cirrhosis or end-stage alcoholic liver disease.
Between 10% to 20% of heavy drinkers will develop Cirrhosis of the liver.Cirrhosis is a late stage of serious liver disease marked by inflammation, fibrosis and damaged membranes preventing detoxification of chemicals in the body, ending in scarring and necrosis. Symptoms include jaundice,liver enlargement, and pain and tenderness from the structural changes in damaged liver architecture. It is progressive and without total abstinence from alcohol use, (80% of alcohol passes through the liver to be detoxified) will eventually lead to liver failure. Late complications of cirrhosis or liver failure include portal hypertension,coagulation disorders blood clotting is impaired, ascites and other complications, including hepatic encephalopathy and the hepatorenal syndrome.Cirrhosis can also result from other causes than alcohol abuse, such as viral hepatitis and heavy exposure to toxins other than alcohol.

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