Hepatic cirrhosis develops in the long-term hepatic tissue injury during the inflammation process (hepatitis), often under the effect of either of the above mentioned viral hepatitis, or excessive amounts of alcohol. The fatty liver often precedes the occurrence of cirrhosis, which develops due to the metabolic disorders of the liver cells. Unlike cirrhosis, this condition is reversible. Cirrhosis is a disease, in which the liver loses its normal structure and cicatrizes. The resulting dense knots compress the blood vessels, bile ducts, and healthy liver tissue, disrupting the normal blood circulation in the organ and preventing the production and accumulation of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, and hormones in the organ. Sick liver can not completely neutralize the toxic agents and the "filter" loses its qualities.
Alcoholism is the main cause of cirrhosis. As a rule, the cirrhosis is diagnosed in those who have been drinking the strong drinks for many years. Sometime the cause of cirrhosis includes the infectious diseases, viruses of hepatitis B and C.
Alcoholic and viral cirrhosis has the most severe disease course. Cirrhosis often develops into the liver cancer in these circumstances. But one can not say that cirrhosis is a consequence of alcoholism only, or it must be preceded by the infectious diseases. It is impossible to establish the cause of this severe disorder in 10-20% of cases. Despite the fact that medicine has made great progress, the diagnostics is sometimes unable to identify the prerequisites of cirrhosis. In most cases, cirrhosis proceeds unnoticed. Early manifestations of cirrhosis can be so unmarked that a patient has no concerns about his health. Insidious disease can hardly manifest itself until the complications are developed: impairment of consciousness, bleeding from the esophagus and stomach, pronounced jaundice.
Liver tumors, unfortunately, are not uncommon. Malignant hepatic tumors rank the 5th in the world among all malignant tumors. Malignant tumor of the liver - hepatocellular carcinoma – in 80% of cases can be a complication of liver cirrhosis, hepatitis B, long-term use of alcohol or tobacco smoking. Typically, all factors which damage the liver are the risk factors for cancer. Characteristic symptoms of cancer include an enlarged liver, jaundice, ascites, bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract (dark blood in stool). In addition, other symptoms associated with liver dysfunction may develop. The genetic information is changed in the liver cells, which results in the change of their behavior. Tumor cells begin to divide and grow without control, and kill the healthy cells. Unfortunately, malignant tumors are almost always diagnosed at the stage with the liver failure, ascites, jaundice and anemia. Prognosis of this disease is very poor, patients live only a few months after diagnosis.
Hereditary hepatic diseases
Bilirubin metabolism in the liver cells often compromised in the hereditary hepatic diseases, leading to the considerable increase in its concentration in the blood. The severity of these diseases varies greatly. The hereditary hepatic diseases include, for example, Gilbert syndrome, Crigler-Najjar syndrome, Dubin-Johnson syndrome. The prognosis of the diseases in which the liver accumulates a variety of substances, such as hemochromatosis or Wilson disease, is not a very favorable one. In hemochromatosis a large amount of iron is accumulated in the body tissues, including the liver. In the Wilson disease the copper is accumulated. These substances have a negative effect on the hepatic function, because they are toxic to the liver.