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Palliative care in patients with liver cirrhosis: it is the time to deal with the burden
  1. A Lisotti1,2,
  2. P Fusaroli1,2 and
  3. G Caletti1,2
  1. 1Department of Medical and Surgical Sciences, University of Bologna, Bologna, Italy
  2. 2Gastroenterology Unit, Hospital of Imola, Imola, Bologna, Italy
  1. Correspondence to Dr A Lisotti, UO di Gastroenterologia, Ospedale Nuovo di Imola, via Montericco 9, Imola, BO 40026, Italy; lisotti.andrea{at}

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We read, with great interest, Dr Gola et al's1 manuscript entitled “Economic analysis of costs for patients with end stage liver disease over the last year of life”, in which the authors clearly demonstrated the increased economic burden of end stage liver disease (ESLD) on health systems. This original article should not be considered only a mere analysis of costs related to ESLD but also as a starting point for future directions in this field.

Liver cirrhosis is the common result of different injuries to liver tissue, leading to necroinflammation and neofibrogenesis. The prognosis of patients with chronic liver disease varies widely, depending on the presence of portal hypertension, the clinical stage, the removal of the underlying pathogenetic noxa (ie, alcohol, hepatitis C virus) or the occurrence of decompensation and other clinical events (ie, infections, kidney injury).

Quality of life results reduced in almost all patients with cirrhosis because of an impairment in all the three areas of health-related QoL (HRQOL), namely, physical, psychological and social; despite these evidences, the assessment of HRQOL is frequently a marginal issue in the clinical evaluation of the patient with cirrhosis. The stage of the disease, age (older), gender (female) and cultural and socioeconomic issues significantly influence patients’ QoL. …

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