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Managing Complications of ELSD

Staying in close touch with the Transplant Institute allows us to better manage the complications you may be facing from end-stage liver disease, including:

Hepatic encephalopathy

Patients can experience a state of semi-consciousness when their diseased liver is not able to remove everyday toxins that build up in the bloodstream. Some people with encephalopathy become very confused and/or sleepy, and are unable to care for themselves.

Bleeding varices and ascites (fluid retention)

Portal hypertension is a common complication of cirrhosis. It results when scar tissue prevents the vein that drains blood from the spleen and intestines (portal vein) from bringing the blood through the liver. This condition creates increased pressure in the veins, which can lead to other problems, such as fluid buildup (ascites) in the abdomen and elsewhere, and enlarged veins (varices) in the esophagus or stomach that can bleed.

Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis

This condition is an acute bacterial infection from fluid that has accumulated in the abdomen. It is a very serious complication of end-stage liver disease.


This defect in the body's blood clotting process, due to end-stage liver disease, can lead to excessively dangerous bleeding.

Hepatorenal syndrome

Sometimes liver failure can result in a significant decrease in blood flow to the kidneys and cause kidney failure, or hepatorenal syndrome, in certain patients. This syndrome is a very serious complication of liver cirrhosis and only occurs in patients with severe liver injury and significant ascites (fluid buildup).

Contact Information

Transplant Institute
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Lowry Medical Office Building, 7th Floor
110 Francis Street
Boston, MA 02215