Why can’t we regenerate livers with cirrhosis?


If livers naturally regenerate, can’t we just cut off the damaged part and wait for the body to regenerate it?

In: 7


Which part do you wish to cut out? The scarring is throughout the liver. There’s no way to really remove the damage three dimensionally without removing the damaged portions entirely.

They are starting to transplant pig livers to humans so I guess that’s an option. Plus free bacon.

ELI14: While it is true that liver cells regenerate, the overwhelming and completely liver-spanning scarring associated with cirrhosis disrupts the microscopic architecture of the liver in such a way that the organ can’t function properly anymore, whether it’s made of newly regenerated cells or not. Those cells won’t reconfigure in the same conformation they used to be in, and that makes a big difference.

ELI5: Say you take a sponge, and you dip it in super glue for a few seconds. Not long enough to saturate every pore, but a decent amount, so that some of it gets in every part of the sponge. It hardens. That hardened super glue is scar tissue. You didn’t really remove any functioning “sponge tissue,” but that sponge still won’t work the way it used to.