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Re: HCV Treatment
Oct 17, 2002
Fibrosis and cirhosis are not the same thing, exactly.

Fibrosis develops to a certain extent from a age in everyone. Disease also causes it and can make it worse or more progressive. Not in everyone, but in some people.

Fibrosis is scarring of the liver. It is the residue of the liver's attempt to heal itself, much as skin does leaves a mark, or scar. While a wound will heal, the scarring remains.

Stages differ depending on what scale is used. Your biopsy report will usually have the informaiton on it. Also, this is not an exact science. Pathologists are looking at the tissue through a microscope and making an educated call on stages from what they are seeing. There is variation from one pathologist to the next, which is a addition reason to be more concerned once the report comes back at a 3. Below that , the subjectivity is much more variable. It is also highly recommended that biopsies be read by the same pathologist each time and that the first biopsy slide is available at the same time for comparison.

Fibrosis can be described as a small scar after a cut (stage 0)

It can be a scar after a severe gash (stage 0-2)

It can be a scar after major injury or surgical procedure, like a major tumor removal or loss of a limb, say. (stage 3)

Or, it can be cirrhosis, which itself has stages before you get to end stage. Cirrhosis is still not a stage where you will need a transplant or die of liver disease, as long as it is compensated by the rest of the liver.

At end stage, it is like a severe burn victim now healing. The scarring is strangling off adequate function (possibly blood supply at the portal veins) and there isn't enough healthy liver function to compensate for the parts that are scarred and not working properly. This is where labs may start to normalize again because the liver can no longer produce them.

This is the difference between compensated cirrhosis and end stage liver disease, where transplant is considered necessary to maintain life.

I hope this is more instructive than confusing.


preapproved by moderator1

[This message has been edited by thanbey (edited 10-17-2002).]

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