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Cirrhotic liver. Section through a liver affected by cirrhosis. Cirrhosis is scarring of the liver as a result of long-term liver damage. This can be caused by alcohol abuse or liver disease such as viral hepatitis. Cirrhosis progresses slowly and often does not cause symptoms until it is advanced and liver failure sets in. Symptoms include tiredness, oedema (fluid build-up in the body), weight loss, and jaundice (yellowing of the skin). Cirrhosis cannot be reversed. Treatment is by stopping the progression of the disease, or by carrying out a liver transplant.
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