Is cirrhosis serious?

Joanna Yeh, MD
Pediatric Gastroenterology
Cirrhosis is A very serious LIVER CONDITION. Once a person develops cirrhosis, the statistics are grim:
  • Twenty-five percent of people with cirrhosis will develop portal hypertension within three years of diagnosis. Portal hypertension can lead to fluid accumulation in the abdomen (known as ascites), bleeding problems including vomiting blood, and an enlarged spleen.
  • About 10 percent to 40 percent of people who have cirrhosis develop hepatocellular carcinoma, which is A TYPE OF liver cancer.
  • Overall, the MORTALITY rate for people who have cirrhosis is about 30 percent to 40 percent within 10 years. This is adult data. There are similar statistics for pediatrics. The scary thing is that cirrhosis has been described in children as young as 8 years old, specifically due to fatty liver. However, the majority of children do not develop cirrhosis from fatty liver until their adult years, therefore prevention of fatty liver is of utmost importance during childhood.

Cirrhosis is serious. The severity of cirrhosis depends on the progression of the disease. If caught early, there are steps you can take to prevent cirrhosis from developing further, but the damage caused by cirrhosis is not reversible. Cirrhosis is not fatal if its progression is stopped. Unfortunately, many symptoms of cirrhosis do not show up until the disease has advanced. If you suspect you have cirrhosis, it is important to see you doctor and to follow their recommendations.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.