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A brief description of etiology and treatment of cirrhosis of the liver, by Joanne Senn, MSN, CEN, CNL

A brief description of etiology and treatment of cirrhosis of the liver, by Joanne Senn, MSN, CEN, CNL

Published in Health & Medicine
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  • A brief overview
  • There are many others…these are the main causes.
  • Accumulation of bilirubin. Icterus (Greek) for yellow bird is synonomous for jaundice.
  • Other meds available for HE, but very expensive.


  • 1. Joanne Senn, MSN, CEN, CNL Instructor Grand Canyon University Department of Nursing
  • 2.  The most common causes are Hepatitis C, fatty liver, and alcohol abuse ◦ Fatty liver caused by Diabetes & obesity ◦ Chronic hepatitis by B, C, & D (D is rare) ◦ Blocked bile duct, i.e.. chronic pancreatitis, tumors ◦ Repeated episodes of heart failure-fluid backs up into liver  Inherited diseases ◦ Cystic fibrosis-problem w/ glycogen storage ◦ Alpha1 antitryptin deficiency-absent enzyme in liver ◦ Wilson’s disease- recessive genetic disorder where copper accumulates in body
  • 3.  12th leading cause of death by disease NIH)  Slow progressing disease  Healthy liver replaced by scar tissue  Diagnosis made by liver biopsy  Scar tissue blocks blood flow through liver- ◦ Slows absorption of nutrients, hormones, drugs, and toxins ◦ Slows production of protein production & substances made by liver ◦ Toxins accumulate causing brain dysfunction
  • 4. Fluid accumulation in abdominal cavity Ascites
  • 5.  Varices caused by portal hypertension- ◦ Causes bleeding due to blocked veins and arteries in liver-causes increased pressure especially in esophagus & stomach  Hepatic encephalopathy due to increased toxins causing confusion, coma and possible death  Respiratory failure, coagulopathies, anemias, electrolyte imbalances
  • 6. Esophageal Varices
  • 7.  Decrease sodium diet  Medication- diuretics -Aldactone, Lasix, lactulose (prevention of hepatic encephalopathy)  Pericentesis- withdrawal of fluid from peritoneum (palliative)  Lifestyle changes-stop alcohol or drug abuse  TIPS procedure or Transjugular intrahepatic partosystemic -shunt shunts blood in portal system via internal jugular (high complication rate)  Liver transplant
  • 8. Questions? Ask … Joanne Senn, MSN, CEN, CNL Nursing Instructor Grand Canyon University joanne.senn@my.gcu.edu