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End stage of liver disease
Aug 6, 2004

I am a 28 years old Asian man with inactive Hepatitis B carrier. My LFT is normal so far. I wish to know what does it mean by end stage of liver disease and when most possibly it may occur to me? What is the outcome? I am really scared. Is it possible that despite i am an inactive carrier i may not have liver cancer or cirrosis? Please enlighten me!

Response from Dr. McGovern

End stage liver disease usually refers to a cirrhotic scarred liver with other complications from a build-up of pressure in the abdomen. These complicatios can include fluid in the abdomen (ascites) or confusion (encephalopathy) or gastrointestinal bleeding (from varices).

It is very encouraging that you are an inactive carrier. You should continue to have monitoring by your physician to be certain that your hepatitis B remains inactive over time. This should include liver function tests. If these become abnormal, then a HBV virus test should be done. I would also get vaccinated against hepatitis A if you have never had the infection before. I would also recommend a minimal amount of alcohol exposure to keep your liver as healthy as possible.

You should speak with your physician as to whether periodic screening for AFP and ultrasound is necessary based on your age, family history of cirrhosis and family history of hepatocellular cancer. You are at low risk as an inactive carrier.

Dr. McGovern



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