Williams, Nadia P.; Lee, Michael G.; Hanchard, Barrie; Barrow, K. Orrin
Author Affiliation, Ana.
Hepatic cirrhosis in Jamaica
West Indian Medical Journal
Date of Publication
The aetiology, biochemistry, clinical features and complications of histologically confirmed hepatic cirrhosis in 45 patients (26 females,19 males) seen at the University Hospital of the West Indies, between 1984 and 1994 was presented. The age range was 1 to 72 years (mean 48 years). Abdominal swelling and weight loss were the commonest symptoms, occurring in 51% and 47% of patients, respectively. Jaundice was a presenting feature in 44%. Hepatomegaly was present in 71% of patients and splenomegaly in 33%. The aetiological factors were: alcohol (36%), bush tea (18%), chronic active hepatitis (11%), drugs (7%), and haemochromatosis (2%). Hepatitis B surface antigen was detected in 2 of 20 patients tested. 24% of the patients also had diabetes mellitus, 29% were anaemic, 29% were thrombocytopenic, 4% were leukopenic, and the prothrombin time was prolonged in 22%. The albumin/globulin ratio was reversed in 71% of the patients. The alkaline phosphatase was elevated in 56%, the aspartate aminotransferase was increased in 58% and the gamma glutamyl transpeptidase in 56%. 56% of the patients had macronodular cirrhosis; the liver showed a micronodular pattern in 18%; 7% had biliary cirrhosis; 7% chronic active hepatitis with cirrhosis; and 13% showed a mixed macro-micronodular pattern. Ascites and fluid overload developed in 44% of the patients. Hepatic encephalopathy occurred in 18% and upper gastrointestinal bleeding in 18%.....