Hepatology is a niche in the field of Gastroenterology (GI) with rapid advances from basic science to bedside. It is rapidly evolving as a specialised field for care of wide spectrum of liver disease ranging from acute hepatitis to acute liver failure to end-stage liver disease. In recent times, approximately, 80% of referrals to the GI unit are for liver disease. Also approximately two-thirds of admissions in the GI unit are for liver disease especially cirrhosis liver and its complications.
Patients with liver disease are a special cohort, who need special attention and expertise in management.
In India, there is an increasing burden of liver disease with a wide spectrum ranging from acute hepatitis, acute liver failure, acute-on-chronic liver failure and end stage liver disease. These patients are hemodynamically unstable and require intensive care management, failure to do so is likely to result in poor outcome.
The common cause for chronic liver disease is alcohol followed by Hepatitis B, Hepatitis C virus infection and Fatty Liver Disease. These patients eventually end up in liver cirrhosis liver cancer and other cirrhosis related complications most of which are life threatening. Timely liver transplant can provide a cure. Few liver cancer patients can be managed by radiological intervention, resection of involved segment or liver transplant based on staging of the liver cancer.
Common Liver disease that requires specialist attention and management