_What is "Compensated" vs "Decompensated" Cirrhosis?
Compensated and decompensated cirrhosis are terms used to describe the clinical condition of a patient with cirrhosis. Compensated cirrhosis is sometimes called early cirrhosis and decompensated cirrhosis is sometimes termed late cirrhosis. A patient with no clinical evidence of cirrhosis is said to have compensated cirrhosis. A patient with clinical evidence of cirrhosis is said to have decompensated cirrhosis. Some people start and remain compensated their entire lives while some soar into decompensated quickly. Most will go back and forth between the first two levels for years. These terms are useful in evaluating the severity of liver disease.
Compensated Cirrhosis Compensated cirrhosis means that the liver is heavily scarred but can still perform many important bodily functions. Many people with compensated cirrhosis experience few or no symptoms and can live for many years without serious complications. But it is important to remember that liver disease progression is not linear; that is, the process speeds up so it is critical for people to take the necessary steps to make sure that they are receiving the appropriate medical care, which may include liver cancer treatment or HCV therapy to help slow down or stop the disease progression process.
Early symptoms of compensated cirrhosis may include:
Fatigue and loss of energy
Loss of appetite and weight loss
Nausea or abdominal pain
Spider angiomas may develop on the skin. These are pinhead-sized red spots from which tiny blood vessels radiate.
Decompensated Cirrhosis Decompensated cirrhosis means that the liver is extensively scarred and unable to function properly. People with decompensated cirrhosis eventually develop many symptoms and complications that can be life threatening.