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what is stage 4 cirrhosis?
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what is stage 4 cirrhosis?

I had my gallbladder removed a week ago, and a liver biopsy done. The surgeon informed me I have stage 4 cirrhosis.  What is stage 4, and what can I expect when I visit the specialist?  I do not drink, or have hepatitis c or b.  Yet has been about 5 or more deaths in my family from cirrhosis.
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Helen - I didn't know you'd already had a biopsy. Cirrhosis is just another name for stage 4 liver disease; they are the same thing. Stage four is usually considered the last stage, although I've also head of end stage, who some call stage 5.) Within stage 4, your liver can either be compensated (functioning), or decompensated (not functioning). Stage 4 can then be divided into three classes - A, B, and C, according to your Chile-Pugh-Turcotte score. Class A: 5 or 6 points, class B: 7-9 points, and class C: 10-15 points. (I don't know at exactly what number is considered decompensated, but I can tell you that I am stage 4, class A:5, and my liver is functioning well.)

Yet another way to measure the progression of your disease is by your MELD score, which indicates where you would fall on the transplant list. (I think it goes from 1= the lowest score to 40 = the highest. Mine is 8.) There is a MELD score calculator on the internet where you can estimate your score by entering your INR, Serum Creatinine and Bilirubin results from your lab tests. (I think it's the  DIRECT bilirubin rather than the total bilirubin, but I'm not sure about that.)

I have portal hypertension as a result of the blood in the portal vein that feeds the liver, backing up into the veins in my stomach. This can usually be diagnosed by a CT scan or, more efficiently, an EGD (scoping of the esophagus and stomach.) I hope I have not confused you more.  

Barbara (ArtieChoke)

PS I just started using this site, and they took my question off too. Then I discovered that I had some responses on the "My MedHelp" tab.
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