Cirrhosis Chapter Overview

Jennifer Kong

Chapter Learning Objectives

  1. Describe the anatomy and physiology of the liver.
  2. Describe the pathogenesis and manifestations of liver cirrhosis.
  3. Identify the main risk factors and causes for liver cirrhosis.
  4. Explain how laboratory findings and diagnostics determine the cause and extent of liver damage.

Cirrhosis is end-stage liver failure.  Many things can cause liver damage:  .

According to Health Canada and the Canadian Liver Foundation, 1 in 4 Canadians experience some degree of liver malfunction in their lifetime. There are over 100 liver diseases caused by a variety of factors including; viruses, toxins, genetics, alcohol, medications, biliary obstructions and unknown causes.

Regardless of the cause, repeated chronic liver damage will result in cirrhosis where the liver experiences persistent damage with ensuing inflammation, to the extent that liver regeneration is unable keep up, leading to lower hepatocyte numbers and permanent scarring (fibrosis).

This chapter is subdivided into:

  • Pre-test
  • Normal liver and gallbladder
  • Gross anatomy and histology of normal liver
  • Causes and pathophysiology of cirrhosis
  • Gross pathology of cirrhotic liver
  • Histopathology of cirrhosis
  • Clinical manifestations of cirrhosis
  • Treatment and prognosis of AKI
  • Consequences of AKI in other systems
  • Diagnosis of cirrhosis
  • Interprofessional collaboration during the diagnosis and management of cirrhosis
  • Chapter Summary
  • Post-test


The following abbreviations are used throughout the chapter.

CBC Complete Blood Count
INR International Normalized Ratio
IVC Inferior Vena Cava
LFTs Liver Function Tests
PTT Prothrombin Time Test
SVC Superior Vena Cava



Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License

Pathology Copyright © 2022 by Jennifer Kong is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book