Liver Disease pp 165-177 | Cite as

General Care of the Cirrhotic Patient

  • Paul A. Schmeltzer
  • Mark W. RussoEmail author


Cirrhosis is the end stage of a wide variety of chronic liver diseases. It is a histologic term defined by the presence of fibrous septa throughout the liver that divide the hepatic parenchyma into nodules. Clinically, patients can be classified as having compensated or decompensated disease. Compensated cirrhosis implies that the liver can perform vital functions normally. Hepatic decompensation, which is characterized by ascites, variceal bleeding, or hepatic encephalopathy, markedly affects life expectancy. Cirrhosis is a major public health problem; it was the 8th leading cause of death in the USA in 2010. This chapter will describe a case of compensated cirrhosis. We will address the aspects of general cirrhosis care that are important for primary care physicians.


Liver Complications Management Decompensation Ascites 

Further Reading

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    Chalasani N, Younossi Z, Lavine JE, et al. The diagnosis and management of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease: practice guidance from the American Association for the study of liver diseases. Hepatology. 2018;67(1):328–57.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Garcia-Tsao G, Abraldes JG, Berzigotti A, et al. Portal hypertensive bleeding in cirrhosis: risk stratification, diagnosis, and management: 2016 practice guidelines by the American Association for the study of liver diseases. Hepatology. 2017;65(1):310–33.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Ge PS, Runyon BA. Treatment of patients with cirrhosis. NEJM. 2016;375(8):767–77.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Heimbach JK, Kulik LM, Finn RS, et al. AASLD guidelines for the treatment of hepatocellular carcinoma. Hepatology. 2018;67(1):358–80.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
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    Leise MD, Talwalkar JA. Immunizations in chronic liver disease: what should be done and what is the evidence. Curr Gastroenterol Rep. 2013;15:300.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of HepatologyCarolinas Medical CenterCharlotteUSA
  2. 2.Carolinas Medical CenterCharlotteUSA

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