Remember the following combining forms and their meaning.
excessively; above normal
the state of being stretched tight; the state of having the muscles stretched tight, especially as causing strain or discomfort
relating to the stomach
relating to disease
relating to the brain
relating to disease
of or relating to suffering
secret, hidden, or concealed
of or relating to a gene or genes
self; same; of or by the same one
resistant to a particular infection or toxin owing to the presence of specific antibodies or sensitized white blood cells
indicating colour or coloured
Cirrhosis is a consequence of chronic liver disease characterized by replacement of liver tissue by fibrosis, scar tissue and regenerative nodules leading to loss of liver function. Cirrhosis is most commonly caused by alcohol abuse, hepatitis B and C, and fatty liver disease, but has many other possible causes. Some cases are idiopathic (of unknown cause).
Alcohol-induced cirrhosis usually occurs after many years of heavy drinking and may affect up to 15 percent of all alcoholics. It is believed that just 45 grammes of alcohol per day for several years may be enough to damage the liver.
Cryptogenic cirrhosis is a term used to describe cirrhosis of unknown origin.
Primary biliary cirrhosis occurs due to inflammation of the small bile ducts inside the liver, leading to eventual scarring and obstruction. It has been linked to autoimmune disorders. The majority of primary biliary cirrhosis cases occur in women between the ages of 35 and 60.
Haemochromatosis is a disease in which excessive amounts of iron accumulate in the liver, leading to scarring and damage.
The symptoms of the various types of cirrhosis are similar, and may develop slowly over time. They include an enlarged liver or spleen, water retention, the appearance of spider-like blood vessels on the skin, jaundice (due to accumulation of bilirubin in the blood), a lack of appetite, weight loss, weakness, fatigue, easy bruising, itching, and oesophageal bleeding.
As the disease progresses, complications may develop. In some people, these may be the first signs of the disease.
Bruising and bleeding resulting from decreased production of coagulation factors.
Jaundice as a result of decreased processing of bilirubin.
Itching (pruritus) because of bile salt products deposited in the skin.
Hepatic encephalopathy – the liver does not clear ammonia and related nitrogenous substances from the blood, which are carried to the brain, affecting cerebral functioning: neglect of personal appearance, unresponsiveness, forgetfulness, trouble concentrating, or changes in sleep habits.
Sensitivity to medication caused by decreased metabolism of the active compounds.
Hepatocellular carcinoma is primary liver cancer, a frequent complication of cirrhosis. It has a high mortality rate.
Portal hypertension – blood normally carried from the intestines and spleen through the hepatic portal vein flows more slowly and the pressure increases; this leads to the following complications:
Ascites – fluid leaks through the vasculature into the abdominal cavity.
Oesophageal varices – collateral portal blood flow through vessels in the stomach and ooesophagus. These blood vessels may become enlarged and are more likely to burst.
Cirrhosis can cause immune system dysfunction, leading to infection. Signs and symptoms of infection may be aspecific are more difficult to recognize (e.g. worsening encephalopathy but no fever).
Fluid in the abdomen (ascites) may become infected with bacteria normally present in the intestines (spontaneous bacterial peritonitis).
Hepatorenal syndrome – insufficient blood supply to the kidneys, causing acute renal failure. This complication has a very high mortality (over 50%).
Hepatopulmonary syndrome – blood bypassing the normal lung circulation (shunting), leading to cyanosis and dyspnoea (shortness of breath), characteristically worse on sitting up.
Portopulmonary hypertension – increased blood pressure over the lungs as a consequence of portal hypertension.
Portal hypertensive gastropathy which refers to changes in the mucosa of the stomach in patients with portal hypertension, and is associated with cirrhosis severity.
Generally, liver damage from cirrhosis cannot be reversed, but treatment could stop or delay further progression and reduce complications. Treatment of cirrhosis includes: 1) preventing further damage to the liver; 2) treating the complications of cirrhosis; 3) preventing liver cancer or detecting it early; and 4) liver transplantation.
Post-Text Assignments Complete the table.