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Liver Cirrhosis and Portal Hypertension

Liver Cirrhosis: Overview, Risk Factors, Symptoms, Diagnosis and More | Singapore General Hospital

Liver Cirrhosis and Portal Hypertension - How to prevent?

Liver Cirrhosis and Portal Hypertension - Treatments

Patients with liver cirrhosis will benefit from the following treatment which include:

  • Treatment of the underlying cause of liver cirrhosis
    • Patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis must stop all intake of alcohol
    • Patients with chronic hepatitis B and C should be started on antiviral treatment if there are no contraindications
    • Patients with autoimmune hepatitis may require treatment with steroids
  • Treatment of portal hypertension to reduce risk of variceal bleeding by:
    • Non-selective beta blocker medication (e.g. propranolol) for lowering of portal pressure to reduce risk of variceal bleeding
    • Endoscopic ligation (banding) of esophageal varices to treat acute bleeding or prevent future variceal bleeding
    • Endoscopic sclerotherapy (histoacryl injection) of gastric varices to treat acute bleeding
  • Treatment and prevention of ascites include:
    • Maintenance of a strict low salt diet
    • Maintenance diuretic medication (e.g. spironolactone or furosemide) to remove excess fluid from the body
    • Patients who have persistent ascites that do not respond to medications may require paracentesis, Transjugular Intrahepatic Portosystemic Shunt (TIPS) or liver transplant.
  • Treatment and prevention of hepatic encephalopathy include:
    • Regular bowel clearance in order to reduce build-up of toxins in the bloodstream that may precipitate encephalopathy
    • Avoidance of sedatives that may worsen encephalopathy
  • Surveillance for liver cancer
    • Patients with cirrhosis should undergo regular abdominal ultrasound and alfa-fetoprotein (AFP) blood tests at least once every six months Diseases Gastroenterology
  • Treatment of cirrhosis-related infections
    • Cirrhotics need to be closely monitored for infections (e.g. spontaneous bacterial peritonitis) and should be referred for early treatment with antibiotics
  • Early assessment for liver transplant
    • Cirrhotic patients who develop decompensation events should be referred for liver transplant

Liver Cirrhosis and Portal Hypertension - Preparing for surgery

Liver Cirrhosis and Portal Hypertension - Post-surgery care

Liver Cirrhosis and Portal Hypertension - Other Information

The information provided is not intended as medical advice. Terms of use. Information provided by SingHealth

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