CF Awareness Month: Liver Disease

CFRLD/CFLD or CF related liver disease is yet another common thing in CF.  Mild liver involvement with  abnormal liver blood tests or fat in the liver is common.  In some patients, the liver problems caused by CF are much more important than the lung disease.  Advanced liver disease in individuals with CF is called CF liver disease (CFLD).  Severe scarring of the liver, called cirrhosis, can occur in CFLD.  Many CF patients with liver involvement do not have any symptoms.  In patients with advanced CFLD, patients may have a large liver and spleen.  Problems with weight gain can occur.  As the scarring in the liver becomes more severe, the pressure in the vein leading to the liver (the portal vein) rises and complications of portal hypertension can occur.  These can include a large spleen, fluid accumulation in the abdomen (ascites) and bleeding from dilated veins (varices) in the esophagus or stomach.  Rarely jaundice and bleeding problems can occur.  Basically because of the thick sticky mucus it makes it hard for all things to flow and work correctly in our bodies.  They can do a abdominal CT scan to see if there is any narrowing of the ducts and other areas affected.  Continue reading