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Cirrhosis to transplant
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Cirrhosis to transplant

  I have been diagnosed with macronodular cirrhosis via biopsy.  I have a slightly enlarged spleen, PT 14, platelets 100K, albumin 4.  I have noticed that after doing certain things (sometimes eating, sometimes exercise) my abdomen seems to be sorta like a "beer gut".  After a while it shrinks down quite a bit.  I have never been a heavy drinker and do not now drink at all.  Is this possibly due to portal hypertension?  If so, is this an early prediction of decompensation?  Is there an average time frame from this point to full decompensation?
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Dear Don:
I appreciate your questions and I can certainly understand your concerns.  You have hepatitis C, a platelet count of 100, a normal albumin and a liver biopsy that shows cirrhosis.  You have some self-resolving bloating after meals.  You wonder if you have signs of decompensation and when you can expect to develop signs of decompensation.    Let me try to make a few comments that might help you.
One sign of advancing liver disease is fluid accumulation in the belly called ascites.  Obviously it would be inappropriate for me to comment about whether you have ascites without examining you.  However, ascites typically does not get worse and better with meals.  It typically does not vary from hour to hour and it gets worse with excess salt in the diet.  Ascites is easy to see on an ultrasound.  If you had a recent ultrasound, your physicians can tell you if they saw ascites.
Similarly, it is difficult for me to tell you how long you have until you start to develop decompensated disease.  I don
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