Alcoholic cirrhosis represents the end-stage lesion of alcoholic liver injury. Although studies of ethanol's effects on hepatic intermediary metabolism, collagen formation and immunological activity have increased our understanding of ethanol-induced liver injury, the mechanism by which ethanol abuse leads to cirrhosis is unknown. This is due in large part to the lack of a readily available animal model. Histologically, alcoholic cirrhosis is characterized by hepatic fibrosis coupled with alteration of hepatic architecture and pseudolobule formation. Clinical features of the disease are variable and result from both hepatic parenchymal injury and altered hepatic blood flow with subsequent portal hypertension. Since collagen deposition in the liver is generally irreversible, therapy of alcoholic cirrhosis is non-specific and often unrewarding. The major goals of therapy are to prevent further injury by encouraging abstinence from ethanol and to treat complications of the disease process. This chapter highlights our current understanding of the pathogenesis, diagnosis and therapy of alcoholic cirrhosis and emphasize where current research offers new insight into these areas.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||13|
|Journal||Clinics in Gastroenterology|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 1 1981|
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