Cirrhosis of the liver

Professionally treating liver diseases

The liver is a key metabolic organ that is extensively involved in breaking down and excreting metabolic products. It also plays an important role in sugar and fat metabolism. In addition, proteins and coagulation factors are built up in the liver and bile is produced. If a serious illness occurs, such as cirrhosis of the liver, the function of the liver is largely limited. 

At Schoen Clinic, we specialise in the diagnosis and treatment of liver diseases. We use individual treatments to attempt to eliminate the causes of the cirrhosis of the liver and to prevent progression.

Causes & symptoms

What is cirrhosis of the liver?

Cirrhosis of the liver is the advanced stage of a liver disease or damage that has usually existed for a long time. The permanent influence of a toxin like alcohol or viruses destroys the structure of the liver or liver cells. As a result, the normal liver tissue is replaced by connective tissue. This connective tissue cannot assume the special functions of the liver. At the same time, the liver circulation is disrupted. The liver function decreases depending on the amount of liver tissue damaged.

Cirrhosis of the liver – Causes: How the this illness develop?

Cirrhosis of the liver only very rarely develops without a demonstrable cause. In Europe, the most frequent causes of liver damage are alcohol consumption, viral or autoimmune diseases and accumulation diseases. The causes specifically are:
  • Alcoholic cirrhosis of the liver
  • Virus hepatitis (B, C, D)
  • Autoimmune hepatitis
  • Fatty liver hepatitis
  • Accumulation diseases
  • Diseases of the biliary tract
  • Primary biliary cholangitis
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis

Cirrhosis of the liver – symptoms: frequent complaints

Cirrhosis of the liver usually develops over a period of many years or decades. For a long time there are no or only very unspecific symptoms, such as itching, low blood pressure, anaemia or an increased susceptibility to infection. Patients often also suffer from general malaise with fatigue, weakness or loss of appetite.

The progression of the disease, the change in the liver function and the declining detoxification lead to various symptoms. 


Signs of cirrhosis of the liver: There is often the typical yellowing of the skin and the collection of abdominal fluid. Varicose veins can form on the oesophagus, skin vessels can dilate and become visible as redness of the palms or vascular asterisks.

The most common complication of advanced cirrhosis of the liver include hepatic coma, renal failure, and upper digestive tract bleeding. In addition, malignant liver tumours can develop.

Diagnostics

Diagnosis: How we diagnose cirrhosis of the liver

During the examination, typical main liver signs appear, such as jaundice, reticular redness or redness of the palms. The increase in the abdominal circumference due to abdominal water is also typical. In addition, loss of consciousness or tremors of limbs may also occur. 

In the laboratory there is a limitation of the synthesis of the liver (coagulation, albumin, cholinesterase). In most cases, certain liver enzymes (GPT, GOT and gamma-GT) are elevated, as is the yellow blood pigment (bilirubin). 

Imaging techniques (ultrasound, computed tomography) provide further information. The liver is hard and the surface is wavy. A cirrhotic liver can be enlarged, normal size or reduced in size.