Liver Cirrhosis Network

September 2019 Council

Lead Division/Office

DDN

Point(s) of Contact

Edward Doo, M.D.

Executive Summary

Cirrhosis of the liver is the outcome of many chronic liver diseases and is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States. Cirrhosis and chronic liver disease are listed as the third most common disease-related cause of death in U.S. adults below the age of 75 and its incidence appears to be rising. Once cirrhosis has developed, the irreversible nature places the patient at risk for significant clinical consequences such as portal hypertension, ascites, variceal hemorrhage, severe hepatic dysfunction and, most ominously, liver cancer. Liver transplantation is the only viable avenue for reversing end-stage liver disease and cirrhosis but is a medically and resource intensive intervention not available to all persons. The diagnosis of cirrhosis is typically made by liver biopsy with a wide range of histopathology types that are associated with certain causes of liver disease. The establishment of a Liver Cirrhosis Network proposed in this initiative would address several pressing issues including optimal and noninvasive means of diagnosis, staging or monitoring as well as basic pathophysiology, classification and management. An opportunity exists for an interventional trial aimed at ameliorating the course and altering the natural history of liver cirrhosis. The Liver Cirrhosis Network would also allow for interactive collaborations with the ongoing NCI Consortium on Translational Research in Early Detection of Liver Cancer.