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Management options in decompensated cirrhosis

Authors Shah N, Banaei YP, Hojnowski K, Cornella S

Received 31 March 2015

Accepted for publication 27 May 2015

Published 15 July 2015 Volume 2015:7 Pages 43—50

DOI https://doi.org/10.2147/HMER.S62463

Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single-blind

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Gerry Lake-Bakaar


Neeral L Shah,1 Yasmin Pourkazemi Banaei,2 Kristen L Hojnowski,2 Scott L Cornella3

1Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, 2School of Medicine, 3Department of Medicine, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA, USA

Abstract: Chronic injury to the liver from a variety of different sources can result in irreversible scarring of the liver, known as cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the USA, and according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was responsible for 31,903 deaths in 2010 alone. It is thus of the utmost importance to appropriately manage these patients in the inpatient and outpatient setting to improve morbidity and mortality. In this review, we address four major areas of cirrhosis management: outpatient management of portal hypertension with decompensation, hepatic encephalopathy, hepatorenal syndrome, and bleeding/coagulation issues. Outpatient management covers recommendations for health care maintenance and screening. Hepatic encephalopathy encompasses a brief review of pathophysiology, treatment in the acute setting, and long-term prevention. Hepatorenal syndrome is discussed in regards to pathophysiology and treatment in the hospital setting. Finally, a discussion of the assessment of coagulation profiles in cirrhosis and recommendations for bleeding and thrombosis complications is included. These topics are not all encompassing with regard to this complicated population, but rather an overview of a few medical problems that are commonly encountered in their care.

Keywords: portal hypertension, hepatic encephalopathy, hepatorenal, coagulation

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