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Cirrhosis (cont.)

Exams and Tests

Your medical history, current symptoms, or physical exam findings may suggest to your health care provider that you have cirrhosis.

  • He or she may suspect cirrhosis if you have abused alcohol or IV drugs in the past or still do so.
  • Known hepatitis, unexplained bleeding, jaundice, ascites (fluid building up in your abdomen), or any changes in the way you act are other findings that suggest cirrhosis.
  • The condition may not be diagnosed until complications develop.

The steps in making the diagnosis of cirrhosis may include the following:

  • Blood tests - To check whether the liver is functioning normally. Lab findings can be normal in cirrhosis, however.
  • Ultrasound, CT scan, or radioisotope scan - To look for signs of cirrhosis within or on the surface of the liver
  • Laparoscope - A very tiny camera inserted through a small slit in the abdomen to view the liver directly
  • Liver biopsy - Removing tissue from the liver and studying it under a microscope to identify fibrosis and scarring. Biopsy is the only way diagnosis can be 100% certain.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/28/2014
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Patient Comments & Reviews

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Cirrhosis:

Cirrhosis of The Liver - Symptoms

The symptoms of cirrhosis of the liver can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your symptoms at the onset of your disease?

Cirrhosis of the Liver - Treatment

What treatment has been effective for your cirrhosis?




Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Cirrhosis »

Cirrhosis represents the final common histologic pathway for a wide variety of chronic liver diseases. The term cirrhosis was first introduced by Laennec in 1826.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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