Avatar universal
Cirrhosis
Hi doctor! My mother in law is from Romania, and she was recently diagnosed with cirrhosis. She is 59 years old, weight is normal, she does not drink anymore since she was diagnosed, but she used to have moderate drinks 4-5 times a week, we don't know if she has hepatitis, but 5 years ago she was in the hospital with a broken bone and the doctors told her that her liver tests did not look good, but no one did nothing.
Her blood tests are:

AST/TGO:  178 U/L
ALT/TGP:   219 U/L
ALKP:   336 U/L
GGT:  135 U/L
PLT:  121
Tumor markers
AFP: 17.21  (normal value/unit.mas. : 0-10/ui/mL)

Doctor's suggestion was to remove her spleen, in order for her treatment to work. I don't know what treatment they recommended.
My questions are:
1. Should other tests be done to see if it is cirrhosis caused by hepatitis?
2. If she has cirrhosis caused by hepatitis what are the treatments used in US?
3. Is it relevant to remove the spleen?
4. What are your suggestions for us?

I really appreciate your help, we are so poor in knowledge, we feel stuck, especially we the medical system in Romania.
Thanks, and God bless.
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1 Answers
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Avatar universal
I will be straight:

1,2. Cirrhosis doesn't go back. You can't treat it, but you can prevent its development. STRICTLY NO ALCOHOL is a must, otherwise cirrhosis will progress. If it is obviously that alcohol was the cause, there's no point in checking if it was hepatitis. In either case, cirrhosis doesn't go back. However, with stopping alcohol symptoms(free abdominal fluid - ascites, anemia...?) may improve.

3. Removing of spleen should be avoided, if possible. Abdominal swelling from fluid retention can be treated with diuretics. Anemia can be treated with blood transfusion. Vitamins (by prescription) may be helpful.

4.
- You two should find a good clinic, so her situation will be evaluated completely.
- It should be checked, if cancer has developed (last result from your above list: elevated AFP speaks for cancer - well, I'm not saying it's cancer.
- If liver is heaviliy damaged, a liver transplantation is an option.

Read about cirrhosis treatment:
http://www.medicinenet.com/cirrhosis/page5.htm

You may consider to come in Ljubljana / Slovenia. We have a good clinical center here. About clinics in US you may start a thread here on the forum and ask specifically for good clinics.
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