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Ask Dr. D. Love Your Own Question
Dr. D. Love
Dr. D. Love, Doctor
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 20186
Experience:  Family Physician for 10 years; Hospital Medical Director for 10 years.
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My mother is 74 yrs old, has liver disease, enlarged spleen

Customer Question

My mother is 74 yrs old, has liver disease, enlarged spleen and on steroids. She's too old for a liver transplant. She had an aneurism removed from her spleen 2 years ago. She is swelling up like a balloon now and is mentally gone. How long will she make it at this rate of decline?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. D. Love replied 8 years ago.

Any discussion of prognosis typically references average survival or the percentage that die within a certain time frame. In determining prognosis for persons with end stage liver disease, there are several issues to consider. The presence of fluid accumulation in the abdomen and brain dysfunction due to liver failure, called hepatic encephalopathy, are two of the worrisome findings that defines a poor prognosis. Other factors to consider is a decreased albumin level (a protein made by the liver), elevated levels of bilirubin and prothrombin time (a measure of clotting due to proteins made by the liver), and worsening renal function. In someone that has the highest levels of these factors, the three month mortality rate is ~70%. If these other metabolic factors are not as abnormal, the prognosis would be much better. Her doctor would be in the best position to assess each of the clinical factors and define her prognosis.