Portal cirrhosis in alcoholic and nonalcoholic women
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1. During a 10-year period 59 women with portal cirrhosis were hospitalized at the University of Oklahoma Hospital. Approximately half of the patients were alcoholic. Twenty-one of the nonalcoholic and 12 of the alcoholic women and diagnoses of portal cirrhosis supported by examination of hepatic tissue. These 33 patients with tissue diagnosis are compared in detail.
2. The alcoholic women were younger at the onset of their symptoms and were commonly from urban areas. The initial clinical diagnosis on these patients was usually cirrhosis, since they frequently had the symptoms, physical findings, and abnormal hepatic function tests associated with this disease.
3. The nonalcholic women were on the average older at the onset of their symptoms. Since they usually had abdominal pain and ascites without many of the expected physical findings of cirrhosis, their initial clinical diagnoses were frequently incorrect. Arterial hypertension or other extrahepatic disease occurred in the majority.
A high index of suspicion and a liver biopsy are needed to make the diagnosis in these patients.
4. The possible etiologic factors leading to cryptogenic portal cirrhosis in the nonalcoholic women are discussed briefly.
KeywordsPublic Health Hypertension Urban Area Abdominal Pain Liver Biopsy
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