Describe the development of cirrhosis and the changes in blood profile which occur due to impaired liver function
Cirrhosis describes the progressive disease that produces changes in liver tissues that lead to liver fibrosis. The disease develops slowly and the disease evolution can last years.
Since the liver produces blood proteins, the fibrosis that occurs in damaged liver hinders the flow of blood and slows the production of proteins.
The changes that occur in blood composition, usually related to cirrhosis presence, could be observed when performing the following routine blood tests such that:
- albumin test - if the test shows a decreased level of protein albumin, then liver injuries are already present
- ALT test - if the test shows an increased level of alanine aminotransferase enzyme, then cirrhosis is the only disease responsible for the abnormalities in ALT levels.
- AST test - is also a test that could be relevant in cirrhosis detection since the elevation of aspartate aminotransferase enzyme occurs when liver is damaged.
- Prothrombin Time is also a test that measures the clotting time since the clotting factors are produced by liver. If the measured clotting time is longer than standard time, then liver injuries are suspected.