Liver fibrosis is a condition when there are wounds on healthy liver tissue and it is not able to function properly. Tissues injured by fibrosis block the flow of blood inside the liver. This kills healthy liver cells and damages the tissue. Fibrosis is the first stage of liver damage when the liver becomes more damaged, it is called liver cirrhosis, which is a serious liver disease. It involves a liver transplant. Some animal studies have described the ability of the liver to heal on its own, whereas it is usually not correct if liver damage occurs once in humans. However, fibrosis can be prevented from reaching cirrhosis by taking medications and lifestyle changes.
Stages of liver fibrosis
There are different stages of liver fibrosis. The doctor determines the degree based on liver damage. Its stage depends on the person. One’s liver may cause more damage than the other’s liver. However, doctors prescribe the stage for liver fibrosis because it helps patients and other doctors understand how much the liver has been affected.
The scoring system most commonly used for liver fibrosis is the METAVIR scoring system (METAVIR scoring system). In this system, a score is given for the activity “Activity”. In which it is estimated how much fibrosis is growing. The doctor assigns the score only after taking a liver biopsy or tissue sample. Activity grades range from A0 to A3.
- A0-no activity
- A1-mild activity
- A2-Moderate Activity
- A3-severe activity
Fibrosis stage F0-F4
- F0-No fibrosis
- F1-portal fibrosis
- F2- Portal fibrosis with new septa with new septa
- F3-Multiple septa with cirrhosis with cirrhosis
A3, F4 MERAVIR Score is considered a sign of serious illness. The second scoring system is Batts and Ludwig. In which grade from 1 to 4 is given for fibrosis. The International Association of the Study of the Liver (IASL) also calculates in four sections, varying from minimal chronic hepatitis to severe chronic hepatitis.
What are the symptoms of liver fibrosis?
Doctors cannot detect liver fibrosis at its mild to moderate stage because symptoms of liver fibrosis do not show up until liver damage occurs. The following symptoms occur when the liver disease begins.
- loss of appetite
- Decreased ability to think and make decisions
- Gas in the legs and abdomen
- Sudden weight loss
According to a study, 6-7 per cent of people worldwide suffer from fibrosis, but they do not know because its symptoms do not show up initially.
What are the causes of liver fibrosis ?
Liver fibrosis occurs when a person has injury or inflammation in the liver. During this time the liver cells are stimulated to heal the wound. During healing, proteins such as collagen and glycoproteins form up in the liver. After repairing several times, liver cells cannot repair which causes fibrosis.
Many types of liver diseases cause fibrosis. Including:
- Autoimmune hepatitis
- Iron overload
- Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, including nonalcoholic fatty liver (NAFL) and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH).
- Viral hepatitis B and C
- Alcoholic liver disease
The most common cause of liver fibrosis is a non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). The second most common cause is an alcoholic liver disease caused by prolonged use of alcohol.
Diagnosis of liver fibrosis
Doctors do some tests to diagnose this liver disease. They also know about them.
The doctor may perform a liver biopsy to check for liver fibrosis. It is a surgical procedure in which doctors can take tissue samples. The specialist examines scarring or fibrosis in tissue samples. This is the primary test used to detect liver disease.
Another option for the diagnosis of liver fibrosis is transient elastography. It is also called an imaging test. This test is done to check for liver stiffness. The liver becomes stiff due to fibrosis, which is known during the test. Low-frequency sound waves are used in this test. However, liver stiffness can also occur due to some other reasons. Therefore, if the doctor has any kind of diarrhoea, then he takes recourse to liver biopsy.
Non-surgical tests do not require surgery. A blood test is done in this. This test can be done for individuals with chronic hepatitis C infection as they are more likely to have liver fibrosis.
In addition to the above test, doctors can also do such tests which require calculus. Some tests such as aminotransferase to platelet ratio or a blood test called Fibrosure can measure six markers of liver function. Through these tests, information about the stage of liver fibrosis is not available. The doctor will diagnose based on the first person’s symptoms. In most cases, the symptoms of the disease are not seen in the first stage. After the test, we now also know about this disease treatment.
Treatment options for liver fibrosis
Treatment for liver fibrosis depends on the cause of fibrosis. Doctors will treat underline illnesses, which will also provide relief in liver fibrosis. For example, if a person consumes a lot of alcohol, the doctor may recommend quitting alcohol so that it supports the treatment program. If the patient has non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, the doctor may also suggest a change in diet to lose weight. Along with this, medicine and exercise can also be prescribed to control blood sugar. Losing weight can slow the progression of the disease. Also, the doctor may give antifibrotics. It reduces liver scarring.
Right now, scientists are making efforts in this direction to bring treatments that can reverse liver fibrosis. However, in the present time, if a person has reached a critical condition of liver fibrosis, then he has no choice but to have a liver transplant.
Let me tell you that liver cirrhosis has become the biggest cause of death in the world. That is why liver fibrosis must be treated on time because it later turns into liver cirrhosis. Not knowing about its initial symptoms is also its biggest risk.
Hope you have liked this article and have got the necessary information related to liver fibrosis and liver cirrhosis. For more information, please consult the expert.