Cirrhosis is significant scarring of the liver due to long-term injury to the liver. Once cirrhosis develops, the impacted part of the liver does not work well.
Many diseases or toxins may cause injury to the liver. Sometimes the cause of the liver injury cannot be identified. This is called "cryptogenic" or "idiopathic" cirrhosis.
The liver is a part of the body that has several jobs. It filters the blood of waste products and makes proteins that help clot blood. It also helps in the digestion of food. When the liver does not work, skin or eyes may become yellow. Children also may be sleepier than usual and more likely to bleed or bruise.
A liver biopsy is needed to diagnosis cirrhosis. A biopsy is when a needle is used to get a piece of liver to look at under the microscope. Other tests such as an ultrasound, CAT scan or MRI may help your doctor learn if you child has cirrhosis.
Children with cirrhosis are treated in the Liver Disease Clinic. Depending on the cause, your child may need medicine, surgery or even a liver transplant.