Dr. Faisal M. Sanai, MD, ABIM, Hepatology Fellow, London Health Sciences Centre, University of Western Ontario, London, ON.
Dr. Cameron N. Ghent, MD, FRCP(C), Consultant Hepatologist, Adjunct Professor, University of Western Ontario, London Health Sciences Centre, London, ON.
Cirrhosis of the liver is highlighted essentially by its portal hypertensive complications. The incidence of these complications in elderly cirrhotic individuals has been rising due to better management of this disease in the younger population. Moreover, improved diagnostic techniques have further contributed to this rising incidence. Early recognition of the cirrhotic complications coupled with aggressive intervention has led to reductions in mortality. Special consideration is given to elderly patients in view of the higher incidence of comorbidity and the variability in disease presentation. We present here a review of cirrhosis and its sequelae in this distinct population group with emphasis on recent trends towards diagnosis and management.
Key words: cirrhosis, portal hypertension, ascites, liver.