chronic disease of the liver, characterized by fibrosis

Cirrhosis is a disease of the liver. Normal liver tissue is replaced by scar tissue. The liver does not work so well.

Cirrhosis is caused mostly by alcoholism, hepatitis B, hepatitis C or hepatocellular carcinoma. Ascites (retention of fluid in the abdomen) is the most common complication for cirrhosis. The patient's skin develops a yellowish hue (jaundice) as the disease gets worse. Liver damage by cirrhosis cannot be repaired. It leads to a poor quality of life, and can cause death.