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Mediators of Inflammation
Volume 2015 (2015), Article ID 872152, 9 pages
Review Article

Liver Cirrhosis: Evaluation, Nutritional Status, and Prognosis

1Department of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Osaka Red Cross Hospital, Osaka, Japan
2Division of Hepatobiliary and Pancreatic Disease, Department of Internal Medicine, Hyogo College of Medicine, Hyogo, Japan

Received 19 May 2015; Revised 8 July 2015; Accepted 13 July 2015

Academic Editor: Ekihiro Seki

Copyright © 2015 Hiroki Nishikawa and Yukio Osaki. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The liver is the major organ for the metabolism of three major nutrients: protein, fat, and carbohydrate. Chronic hepatitis C virus infection is the major cause of chronic liver disease. Liver cirrhosis (LC) results from different mechanisms of liver injury that lead to necroinflammation and fibrosis. LC has been seen to be not a single disease entity but one that can be graded into distinct clinical stages related to clinical outcome. Several noninvasive methods have been developed for assessing liver fibrosis and these methods have been used for predicting prognosis in patients with LC. On the other hand, subjects with LC often have protein-energy malnutrition (PEM) and poor physical activity. These conditions often result in sarcopenia, which is the loss of skeletal muscle volume and increased muscle weakness. Recent studies have demonstrated that PEM and sarcopenia are predictive factors for poorer survival in patients with LC. Based on these backgrounds, several methods for evaluating nutritional status in patients with chronic liver disease have been developed and they have been preferably used in the clinical field practice. In this review, we will summarize the current knowledge in the field of LC from the viewpoints of diagnostic method, nutritional status, and clinical outcomes.