Key Concepts

© Portal hypertension is the precipitating factor for the complications of cirrhotic liver disease: ascites, spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP), variceal bleeding, and hepatic encephalopathy (HE). Lowering portal pressure can reduce the complications of cirrhosis and decrease morbidity and mortality.

O1 Chronic excessive ingestion of ethanol causes progressive liver damage because both ethanol and its metabolic products are direct hepatotoxins.

Cirrhosis is irreversible; treatments are directed at limiting disease progression and minimizing complications.

Nonselective P-blockers are first-line treatment for preventing variceal bleeding; they vasoconstrict the splanchnic bed through multiple mechanisms.

® The goals of treating ascites are to minimize acute discomfort, reequilibrate ascitic fluid, and prevent SBP. Treatment should modify the underlying disease pathology; without directed therapy, fluid will rapidly reaccumulate.

Cirrhosis is a high aldosterone state; spironolactone is a direct aldosterone antagonist and a primary treatment for ascites.

'©' During acute variceal hemorrhage, it is crucial to control bleeding, prevent rebleeding, and avoid acute complications such as SBP.

Blood Pressure Health

Blood Pressure Health

Your heart pumps blood throughout your body using a network of tubing called arteries and capillaries which return the blood back to your heart via your veins. Blood pressure is the force of the blood pushing against the walls of your arteries as your heart beats.Learn more...

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