Liver Failure (Cirrhosis)


Cirrhosis is a disease of the liver caused by injury or damage to liver cells and thickening (scarring) of the surrounding tissue. Symptoms include tiredness (fatigue), weight loss, frequent infections, fluid accumulated in the abdomen ascites) and yellow/golden skin or eyes (jaundice). Some people may also have dark urine and light colored bowel movements.


Chronic alcohol use is a common cause of liver cirrhosis. Other causes include viral infections of the liver (hepatitis), abnormalities of the bile duct system (biliary cirrhosis), some inherited disorders and certain toxic exposures.


Treatment is aimed at helping the liver rebuild and repair cells. Some individuals with severe liver failure may be candidates for a liver transplant.


Cirrhosis of the liver may be associated with bleeding from dilated blood vessels in the esophagus. Cirrhosis of the liver is a serious condition that makes patients very sick and eventually results in death.

Related Links

National Library of Medicine
The National Library of Medicine presents information and pictures about liver failure.