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Cirrhosis is pathologic scarring of liver tissue that leads to impaired liver function. It can result from any etiology of chronic liver inflammation and causes significant disease burden. Cirrhosis potentially is reversible through management of the cause, such as nonalcoholic fatty liver disease, viral hepatitis, or alcohol use. As liver disease progresses, compensated (ie, asymptomatic) cirrhosis may decompensate, causing ascites, hepatic encephalopathy, or variceal bleeding. Cirrhosis typically is diagnosed with a history, physical examination, and noninvasive testing, which includes laboratory tests, combination scoring indices, and imaging (eg, ultrasonography, transient elastography). Liver biopsy remains the reference standard for diagnosis. It should be used when results of noninvasive evaluation are indeterminate, when the etiology of liver disease remains unknown, or when the result may alter management. Clinicians should counsel patients about alcohol use, obesity management, and prevention of infection. Drugs with potential for hepatotoxicity should be avoided. Clinical assessment with laboratory tests and calculation of the Child-Pugh and Model for End-stage Liver Disease (MELD) scores should occur every 6 months. Clinicians should evaluate for and manage cirrhosis-related complications, including hepatocellular carcinoma, ascites, spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, hepatic encephalopathy, esophageal varices, and other complications. Evaluation for liver transplantation is indicated for patients with a MELD score of 15 or greater, complications of cirrhosis, or hepatocellular carcinoma.

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