Conditions We Treat
At Mount Sinai, our liver specialists provide multidisciplinary care to patients who may be afflicted with various illnesses. From genetic disorders to sexually transmitted, diseases, our experts will ensure that you receive the best personalized care.
- Hepatitis A: Transmitted through the “fecal-oral” route. It causes an acute inflammation of the liver (hepatitis) and is cleared usually within six months of the exposure. It does not lead to chronic liver disease or cirrhosis.
- Hepatitis B, C, and D: Transmitted through contaminated blood products, sexual contact, sharing of needles, intranasal sharing methods of drug use, and contact with blood or body fluids of infected individuals. Infection may lead to chronic hepatitis, lasting for many years, and can progress to cirrhosis and the development of hepatocellular carcinoma.
- Alpha 1-Antitrypsin: Caused by the inability of the liver cells to get rid of this genetically inherited abnormal enzyme that accumulates in the liver causing inflammation and cirrhosis.
- Hemochromatosis: Caused by a genetic defect that increases the absorption of iron into the body and stored in the liver cells. The increased iron in the liver cells leads to inflammation and cirrhosis. The increased iron can also affect the heart, brain, and pancreas.
- Wilson’s Disease: Caused by an increased accumulation of copper in the liver leading to inflammation and liver cell damage. Patients can present with an acute failure of the liver or a more chronic course progressing to cirrhosis.
Bile Duct Disorders
- Primary Biliary Cirrhosis: A chronic, progressive cholestatic liver disease that is characterized by the destruction of the small intrahepatic bile ducts leading to fibrosis and cirrhosis.
- Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis: A chronic progressive cholestatic liver disease that is characterized by ongoing inflammation, destruction, and fibrosis of both the intra- and extra-hepatic bile ducts. There is an increased incidence of Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease). Patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis have a greater risk of developing cholangiocarcinoma.
- Alcoholic Liver Disease: Alcohol-related liver disease is associated with the excess use of alcohol. It can be connected to heavy binge drinking or daily use of alcohol, on the average of more than 45 grams per day. Women are more susceptible to develop alcoholic liver disease than men.
- Budd-Chiari-Syndrome: Associated with a blockage of the hepatic veins. Patients usually develop fluid accumulation in the abdomen (known as ascites), abdominal pain, enlarged liver and spleen, gastrointestinal bleeding, yellowing of the skin (known as jaundice), and changes in their mental status.
- NASH (Non-Alcoholic Steatohepatitis): A disease that is caused by the accumulation of fat in the liver cells that leads to inflammation, fibrosis, and cirrhosis, which is not related to alcohol use. Predisposing conditions linked to NASH are obesity, type 2 diabetes, and high lipid levels in the blood.
- Fulminant Hepatic Failure (FHF): A progressive and rapid onset of liver failure in an otherwise healthy individual who did not have any previous history of liver disease. The overall survival of these individuals is 7-30% without transplantation. Some common causes are: acute viral hepatitis, acetaminophen (Tylenol®) overdose, Wilson’s disease, Budd-Chiari Syndrome, mushroom poisoning, and drug-induced hepatitis (INH toxicity for example).
- Cryptogenic Cirrhosis: Liver disease with an unknown cause. Other causes for impaired liver function must be excluded.
- Cirrhosis: A progressive disorder in which liver cells are damaged and replaced by scar tissue. As scar tissue accumulates, blood flow through the liver is diminished, which causes more liver cells to die. The liver then becomes nodular in appearance. The scar tissue that forms in cirrhosis harms the function of the liver. The loss of normal liver tissue slows the processing of nutrients, hormones, drugs, and toxins by the liver, as well as production of proteins and other substances made by the liver.
- Kidney function impairment
- Bleeding tendencies
- Increased susceptibility to infection
- Generalized muscle wasting and malnutrition
- Increased sensitivity to drugs, due to the inability of the liver to metabolize them
- Enlargement of the spleen
- Dark colored urine
- Abnormal blood sugars
- Loss of sex drive or performance