Alternative Names

Liver cirrhosis; Cryptogenic chronic liver disease

Definition of Cirrhosis

Cirrhosis is scarring of the liver and poor liver function. It is the final phase of chronic .

Causes, incidence, and risk factors

Cirrhosis is the end result of chronic liver damage caused by chronic liver diseases. Common causes of chronic liver disease in the United States include:


Symptoms may develop gradually, or there may be no symptoms.

Signs and tests

During a physical examination the health care provider may find:


All patients with cirrhosis can benefit from certain lifestyle changes, including:

Expectations (prognosis)

Cirrhosis is caused by irreversible scarring of the liver. Once cirrhosis develops, it is not possible to heal the liver or return its function to normal. It is a serious condition that can lead to many complications.


George F. Longstreth, MD, Department of Gastroenterology, Kaiser Permanente Medical Care Program, San Diego, California. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc. – 12/13/2010

Digestive system organs
Digestive system
Liver cirrhosis, CT scan

ADAM Medical Encyclopedia

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