Cirrhosis - Symptom
Liver cirrhosis; Cryptogenic chronic liver disease
Symptoms may develop gradually, or there may be no symptoms.
When symptoms do occur, they can include:
- Abdominal indigestion or pain
- Confusion or problems thinking
- Impotence, loss of interest in sex, and breast development (gynecomastia) in men
- Nausea and vomiting
- Nosebleeds or bleeding gums
- Pale or clay-colored stools
- Small, red spider-like blood vessels on the skin
- Swelling or fluid buildup of the legs (edema) and in the abdomen (ascites)
- Vomiting blood or blood in stools
- Weight loss
- Yellow color in the skin, mucus membranes, or eyes (jaundice)
Signs and tests:
During a physical examination the health care provider may find:
- An enlarged liver or spleen
- Excess breast tissue
- Expanded (distended) abdomen, as a result of too much fluid
- Reddened palms
- Red spider-like blood vessels on the skin
- Smaller (contracted) fingers
- Small testicles
- Widened (dilated) veins in the abdomen wall
- Yellow eyes or skin (jaundice)
Tests can reveal liver problems including:
The following tests may be used to evaluate the liver:
A liver biopsy confirms cirrhosis.
Some patients will be screened for liver cancer every 6 months. Your doctor will use a blood test to check for levels of alpha fetoprotein and will do an imaging test (ultrasound, MRI, or CT scan).
- Reviewed last on: 12/13/2010
- 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.
Garcia-Tsao G, Lim JK; Members of Veterans Affairs Hepatitis C Resource Center Program. Management and treatment of patients with cirrhosis and portal hypertension: recommendations from the Department of Veterans Affairs Hepatitis C Resource Center Program and the National Hepatitis C Program. Am J Gastroenterol. 2009;104:1802-1829.
Schuppan D, Afdhal NH. Liver cirrhosis. Lancet. 2008;371:838-851.
Mehta G, Rothstein KD. Health maintenance issues in cirrhosis. Med Clin North Am. 2009;93:901-915.
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