How does liver disease lead to cirrhosis?

06 December 2009

Question

How does liver disease lead to cirrhosis?

Answer

We put this to consultant hepatologist Graeme Alexander:

Graeme - The liver cells are part of a complicated organ - the liver - where there's lots of different types of cells. One cell type sitting next to the liver cell (the hepatocyte) is called a stellate cell, and there are signals sent out by an injured liver cell to these stellate cells, which then scar the liver. So the liver ends up being scarred in exactly the same way as someone who's had an operation and there's a scar on their skin, but this scar is spread finely and diffusely throughout the whole liver.

Add a comment