What are the Symptoms of Liver Fibrosis?
In the early stages of liver fibrosis, few people experience symptoms because the liver functions relatively well. Fibrosis is the initial stage of the formation of scar tissue in the liver. An individual may have no symptoms and live a normal, sometimes very active life, for decades, and remain unaware that he or she has liver disease.
As scar tissue builds up, due to inflammation and the continuance of liver injury, it connects with existing scar tissue, which can eventually disrupt the metabolic functions of the liver. If the disease progresses, it can lead to cirrhosis, a condition in which the liver is severely scarred, its blood flow is restricted, and its ability to function is impaired.
If poked, a healthy liver is very soft. A liver that has developed fibrosis is firmer, and if the condition progresses to cirrhosis, the liver can be almost rock-hard.
HCVadvocate.org “Disease Progression: What is Fibrosis? http://www.hcvadvocate.org/hepatitis/factsheets_pdf/Fibrosis.pdf Retrieved March 28, 2011
HIVandHepatitis.com “Non-Invasive Ways to Assess Liver Disease: Studies Test Alternatives to Liver Biopsy”http://www.hivandhepatitis.com/hep_c/news/2008/020508_b.html/ Retrieved March 28, 2011
Home Health Guide “Liver Fibrosis” http://medicallywiseinfo.com/2010/757/liver-fibrosis.html/ Retrieved March 28, 2011
Mayo Clinic “Mayo Clinic Innovation Aids in Diagnosing Hepatic Fibrosis” http://www.mayoclinic.org/news2009-sct/5160.html/ Retrieved March 28, 2011
National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse NDDIC “Chronic Hepatitis C: Current Disease Management – Liver Biopsy” http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/chronichepc/ Retrieved March 28, 2011
PubMed.gov “Liver Fibrosis” http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15690074/ Retrieved March 28, 2011