Laennec's cirrhosis

Laennec's cirrhosis


Caption =
DiseasesDB =
ICD10 =
ICD9 = ICD9|571.2
MedlinePlus =
eMedicineSubj =
eMedicineTopic =
MeshID =

Laennec's cirrhosis is named after René Laennec,cite journal |author=Duffin JM |title=Why does cirrhosis belong to Laennec? |journal=CMAJ |volume=137 |issue=5 |pages=393–6 |year=1987 |month=September |pmid=3304599 |pmc=1492806 |doi= |url=] a French physician and the inventor of the stethoscope. It is a disease of the liver in which the normal lobular architecture is lost, with fibrosis and later nodular regeneration. Laennec's cirrhosis can be associated with inflammatory polyarthritis, most commonly affecting the shoulders, elbows and knees. Osteoporosis, soft tissue swelling in peripheral joints and sometimes calcific periathritis are seen.

In the developed world, Laennec's cirrhosis most commonly affects middle-aged males, typically ages 40-60. This is the most common form of cirrhosis in the U.S.

In areas of the world afflicted with chronic starvation, (Africa and Asia), children are most commonly afflicted.


Severe protein deficiency can cause Laennec's cirrhosis.Two causes have been identified. The first is malnutrition, or, more specifically, protein deprivation. This is seen in starving children who have insufficient supplies of protein and therefore manufacture insufficient amounts of lipoproteins. They develop fatty livers: it is presumed that if they survive, cirrhosis will develop.

Chronic alcoholism can cause Laennec's cirrhosis.The second is alcohol. Whether or not alcohol alone can produce fatty nutritional cirrhosis has been debated for decades. Current evidence is that it can. If so, the condition should be renamed "alcoholic cirrhosis." Those who do not subscribe to the "alcohol-as-a-poison" school state that the changes to be described are the result of malnutrition common to alcoholics. They argue that alcoholics, in a sense, are no different than starving African children -- both have protein deprivation.


Laennec's cirrhosis has three stages.The pathologic features of this form of cirrhosis change with time. Therefore, it is helpful to break the disease down into three stages: 1) the fatty liver stage, 2) the fibrotic liver stage and 3) the nodular liver stage.

In early stages the liver is large and fatty.In this early stage, fat accumulates in the liver cells around the central vein (fatty change). The liver becomes large, even huge (hepatomegaly). The normal liver weighs about 1,200 grams. By comparison, fatty livers can weigh in at over 6,000 grams and may, in the living patient, fill the abdominal cavity (remember that the normal liver extends 2-3 finger breadths below the right costal margin). At autopsy, the fatty liver is greasy and a cut surface is yellow. As dramatic as these changes are, the fatty change is reversible.

In later stages, the liver becomes scarred (fibrotic).In this stage, the liver returns to a more normal size; however, it does not return to normal in any other way. In fact, the changes that develop during this stage are irreversible. The fatty change subsides and is replaced by fibrosis (scarring) and some chronic inflammation. No doubt the retreat of fatty change and the shrinking effect of scar tissue is responsible for the over-all decrease in liver size.

In the final stage, the liver becomes lumpy (nodular).In this stage, the liver shrink even further. It may not extend below the costal margin at all. Liver cells attempt to regenerate in an increasingly fibrotic setting. They find it difficult to do so and form "regenerative nodules" that only partially carry out normal liver function. This shrunken, nodular texture has been dubbed the "hob-nail" or "cobble stone" effect.


Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Нужно сделать НИР?

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Laennec's cirrhosis — Laen·nec s cirrhosis or Laën·nec s cirrhosis lā neks n hepatic cirrhosis in which increased connective tissue spreads out from the portal spaces compressing and distorting the lobules, causing impairment of liver function, and ultimately… …   Medical dictionary

  • laennec's cirrhosis — (ˈ)lā]|nek(s) , (ˈ)le], |läˌā] noun Usage: usually capitalized L Etymology: after René T. H. Laënnec died 1826 French physician : hepatic cirrhosis in which increased connective tissue spreads out from the portal spaces compressing and distorting …   Useful english dictionary

  • Cirrhosis — Classification and external resources A person with massive ascites and caput medusae due to cirrhotic liver failure ICD 10 K …   Wikipedia

  • Laënnec, René-Théophile-Hyacinthe — ▪ French physician born Feb. 17, 1781, Quimper, Brittany, France died Aug. 13, 1826, Kerlouanec  French physician who invented the stethoscope and perfected the art of auditory examination of the chest cavity.       When Laënnec was five years… …   Universalium

  • cirrhosis — (n.) 1840s, coined in Modern Latin by French physician René Théophile Hyacinthe Laennec (1781 1826) with OSIS (Cf. osis) and Gk. kirrhos tawny, of unknown origin. So called for the orange yellow appearance of the diseased liver …   Etymology dictionary

  • cirrhosis — [sə rō′sis] n. pl. cirrhoses [sə rō′sēz΄] [ModL < Gr kirrhos, tawny + OSIS: so named by R. T. H. Laënnec (1781 1826), Fr physician, because of the orange yellow appearance of the diseased liver] a degenerative disease in an organ of the body,… …   English World dictionary

  • cirrhosis — Endstage liver disease characterized by diffuse damage to hepatic parenchymal cells, with nodular regeneration, fibrosis, and disturbance of normal architecture; associated with failure in the function …   Medical dictionary

  • cirrhosis — cirrhotic /si rot ik/, adj. cirrhosed, adj. /si roh sis/, n. Pathol. a disease of the liver characterized by increase of connective tissue and alteration in gross and microscopic makeup. [1830 40; < Gk kirrh(ós) orange tawny + OSIS] * * *… …   Universalium

  • Laënnec — René T.H., French physician, 1781–1826. See L. cirrhosis, L. pearls, under pearl …   Medical dictionary

  • René Laennec — Infobox Scientist name = René Laennec box width = image size = 250px caption = René Laennec birth date = February 17, 1781 birth place = Quimper, Brittany death date = August 13, 1826 death place = residence = citizenship = nationality = French… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”