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NCLEX Review Cirrhosis

So what is cirrhosis and why is it very important to review for the the NCLEX ?

Cirrhosis is basically scarring of the liver.  It occurs when there is severe hepatic inflammation or necrosis.

Common causes of cirrhosis:

  • Alcohol
  • Hepatits C
  • Hepatitis B

Complications of Cirrhosis:

(It is very important to understand these complications for the NCLEX.)

Portal Hypertension

An increase in the pressure in the portal vein.  It is usually due to an obstruction of blood flow within the portal vein.

Ascites

– an accumulation of fluid within the peritoneal cavity.

– there will be retention of water and sodium in the body.

Esophageal Varices

– occurs when thin walled esophageal veins become distended from an increase in pressure.

Jaundice

– is caused by hepatic cirrhosis.  Develops because the liver cells cannot effectively excrete bilirubin.

Portal-Systemic Encephalopathy

– a manifestation by neurological symptoms

Physical Assessment

in patients with Cirrhosis:

  • Fatigue
  • Abdominal pain
  • Weight Loss
  • Asterixis

Laboratary Assessment:

There will be an increase in serum levels of (AST)/ Aspartate aminotransferase, (ALT) / Alanine aminotransferase and (LDH) / Lactate Dehydrogenase.

♣ Interventions:

– depends on the SYMPTOM and the COMPLICATION.

FOR ASCITES

  • Intervention for ascities includes *PARACENTESIS – if diet and drug management fails.

♠ PARACENTESIS

– The procedure is performed in the bedside.

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