Preventive strategies in chronic liver disease: Part II. Cirrhosis

T. R. Riley, A. M. Bhatti

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

37 Scopus citations

Abstract

Cirrhosis is a diffuse process characterized by fibrosis and the conversion of normal liver architecture into structurally abnormal nodules. The modified Child-Pugh score, which ranks the severity of cirrhosis based on signs and liver function test results, has been shown to predict survival. Strategies have been established to prevent complications in patients with cirrhosis. Esophageal varices can be identified by endoscopy; if large varices are present, prophylactic nonselective beta blocker therapy should be administered. Alpha-fetoprotein testing and ultrasonography can be effective in screening for hepatocellular carcinoma. Vaccines should be administered to prevent secondary infections. The use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs should be avoided, and patients should maintain a balanced diet containing 1 to 1.5 g of protein per kg per day. An extensive assessment should be performed before patients with cirrhosis undergo elective surgery. Before advanced liver decompensation occurs, patients should be referred for liver transplantation evaluation. If advanced cirrhosis is present and transplantation is not feasible, survival is between one and two years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1735-1740
Number of pages6
JournalAmerican family physician
Volume64
Issue number10
StatePublished - Nov 15 2001

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Family Practice

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