Clinical features of cirrhosis2
#cirrhosis #harrison #liver #medicine
Laboratory tests may be completely normal in patients with early compensated alcoholic cirrhosis. Alternatively, in advanced liver disease, many abnormalities usually are present. Patients may be anemic either from chronic GI blood loss, nutritional deficiencies, or hypersplenism related to portal hypertension, or as a direct suppres- sive effect of alcohol on the bone marrow. A unique form of hemolytic anemia (with spur cells and acanthocytes) called Zieve’s syndrome can occur in patients with severe alcoholic hepatitis. Platelet counts are often reduced early in the disease, reflective of portal hypertension with hypersplenism. Serum total bilirubin can be normal or elevated with advanced disease. Direct bilirubin is frequently mildly elevated in patients with a normal total bilirubin, but the abnormality typically progresses as the disease worsens. Prothrombin times are often pro- longed and usually do not respond to administration of parenteral vitamin K. Serum sodium levels are usually normal unless patients have ascites and then can be depressed, largely due to ingestion of excess free water. Serum alanine and aspartate aminotransferases (ALT, AST) are typically elevated, particularly in patients who con- tinue to drink, with AST levels being higher than ALT levels, usually by a 2:1 ratio.