What Is Chronic Liver Disease?

Chronic liver disease is marked by the gradual destruction of liver tissue over time. Several liver diseases fall under this category, cirrhosis and fibrosis of the liver.

Cirrhosis of the liver

Cirrhosis is the 12th leading cause of death in the United States, according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). Because of chronic damage to the liver, scar tissue slowly replaces normal functioning liver tissue, progressively diminishing blood flow through the liver. As the normal liver tissue is lost, nutrients, hormones, drugs, and poisons are not processed effectively by the liver. In addition, protein production and other substances produced by the liver are inhibited.

Fibrosis of the liver

Fibrosis is the growth of scar tissue due to infection, inflammation, injury, or even healing. The overgrowth of scar tissue can occur in almost any organ. Fibrosis in the liver can inhibit the organ's proper functioning. Liver fibrosis is usually the result of cirrhosis.

Clinical Trials

Clinical trials are research studies that evaluate a new medical approach, device, drug, or other treatment. As a Stanford Health Care patient, you have access to the latest, advanced clinical trials.

Open trials refer to studies currently accepting participants. Closed trials are not currently enrolling, but may open in the future.