cirrhosis

(redirected from cardiocirrhosis)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical.

cirrhosis

cirrhosis (sərōˈsəs), degeneration of tissue in an organ resulting in fibrosis, with nodule and scar formation. The term is most often used in relation to the liver, because that organ is most often involved in cirrhosis. Cirrhosis of the liver interferes with the liver's metabolism of nutrients, detoxification of the blood, bile production, and other normal functions (see liver); its damage is irreversible.

The most prevalent form of cirrhosis of the liver, portal cirrhosis, appears most often in middle-aged males with a history of chronic alcoholism and is caused in part by protein deficiency (specifically choline), a type of malnutrition common in alcoholics. Protein deprivation is also responsible for kwashiorkor, a nutritional deficiency with symptoms resembling those of cirrhosis of the liver. A major cause of cirrhosis worldwide is infection by the hepatitis B virus. Biliary cirrhosis is a type caused by disruption of bile flow and is more common in women. Other causes include schistosomiasis and hemochromatosis, a hereditary iron storage disease.

Failure of liver function results in ascites (fluid accumulation in the abdominal cavity), increased albumin and blood protein, gastrointestinal disturbances, bleeding, emaciation, portal hypertension, enlargement of the liver and spleen, jaundice, edema, and obstruction of the venous circulation with distention of the veins. It is not uncommon for greatly distended veins in the esophagus to rupture and cause massive hemorrhage. Treatment is first aimed at any reversible underlying disease. Supportive measures include avoidance of alcohol, a diet with adequate protein, vitamin supplements, transfusions to replace any blood loss, and removal of accumulated fluid. Beta-blockers, such as propranolol, have been shown to be effective in reducing the rate of gastrointestinal bleeding, one of the most lethal complications of cirrhosis.

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia™ Copyright © 2022, Columbia University Press. Licensed from Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Cirrhosis

 

cicatricial shrinkage and deformity of an organ caused by infectious diseases, poisonings, metabolic disturbances, and other factors. Cirrhosis mostly affects parenchymatous organs, for example, the liver (which acquires a yellowish color as a result), the kidneys (nephrocirrhosis), and lungs (interstitial pneumonia). The morphological manifestations of cirrhosis include degeneration and necrosis of parenchymatous elements, distorted regeneration, diffuse proliferation of connective tissues (sclerosis), and structural reorganization and deformity of the organ. Chronic functional insufficiency of the affected organ is one of the main clinical symptoms. Since the proliferation of connective tissues may be due to a variety of factors, a distinction is made between postnecrotic, inflammatory, angiogenic, and metabolic forms of cirrhosis. The disease is believed to be reversible in its early stages.

V. V. SEROV

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.

cirrhosis

[sə′rō·səs]
(medicine)
A progressive, inflammatory disease of the liver characterized by a real or apparent increase in the proportion of hepatic connective tissue.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific & Technical Terms, 6E, Copyright © 2003 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

cirrhosis

any of various progressive diseases of the liver, characterized by death of liver cells, irreversible fibrosis, etc.: caused by inadequate diet, excessive alcohol, chronic infection, etc.
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005