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How Hepatitis C Affects Human Liver

How Hepatitis C Affects Human Liver

Hepatitis C is a chronic viral inflammation of the liver that can cause temporary or permanent liver damage. The liver damage at first in the form of liver inflammation gradually leading to scarring or fibrosis Hepatitis C Affects Human Liver.

Hepatitis C can cause the death of liver cells. This might be due to either virus-killing liver cells or immune system response to infected liver cells. Recent research shows that its combination of both factors but immune system response seems more pronounced causing much damage. The death of liver cells causes inflammatory changes in the human liver. That in turn causes enlargement of the liver (hepatomegaly). Liver enlargement seen in about 60% of patients and the leading cause of persistent pain in the liver area.

Inflammation triggers:

Inflammation triggers the processes that lead to fibrosis. Fibrosis is not a disease but is a condition caused by the body’s response to liver damage. Specific liver cells called stellate cells are triggered by Inflammation. These cells store fat and vitamin A when the liver is in a healthy condition. These cells are also responsible for blood flow regulation within the liver Hepatitis C Affects Human Liver. But when the liver inflamed by the presence of hepatitis C, a reaction occurs amongst different liver cells. This reaction leads stellate cells to dispense with vitamin A, altering their function.

Infected and inflamed liver cells:

Infected and inflamed liver cells release chemical signals called ‘cytokines’. These chemicals cause the activation of white blood cells outside the liver. The activated white blood cells travel to the liver and there in combination with specialized white cells of the liver, produce further chemical signals. These signals cause stellate cells to begin producing and laying down collagen fibers. In the extracellular matrix, which is the area between the cells.

Collagen, a fibrous protein:

Collagen, a fibrous protein is fundamental to the formation of scar tissue. The human body has the protective mechanism of limiting infection and healing of injured areas. For this purpose it uses collagen. In normal conditions when the particular injured area is healed or infection resolved the collagen is dissolved and removed from that area. The activated stellate cells then die off, allowing the tissue to return to normal. But in chronic hepatitis C, the collagen matrix grows too fast and cannot be properly dissolved. Resulting in scar tissue build up around the cells. This prevents liver cells from getting vital nutrients and oxygen from blood so they die rapidly. A never-ending cycle starts in which inflammation and fibrogenic cells stimulate each other leading to increased fibrosis.

Free Radicals and Fibrosis:

A further possible cause of fibrosis due to damage by free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive chemical substances. They are the by-product of a cell’s normal reactions such as energy generation and the breakdown of fats. During these reactions, oxygen is transformed into the free radical superoxide. Cells with normal physiological function protection mechanisms to protect themselves from damage. Effects of free radicals but if free radicals in high concentration or cells have lost normal function. Then free radicals can cause havoc Hepatitis C Affects Human Liver.

Free radicals much concerned with hepatitis C patients due to the following reasons.
  • Chronic liver inflammation may lead to over-production of free radicals within the liver.
  • There is evidence that free radicals play a role in liver fibrosis. Free radicals can chemically alter fat in the body. This called lipid peroxidation. The free radicals attack the cell membrane and can injure and eventually kill cells. If this happens to liver cells, it will lead to fibrosis.
  • When the liver function is already impaired and there an overload of iron, the free radicals may interact with the iron causing further damage.

The liver tissues wonderful potential to regenerate, so why they do not regenerate in Hepatitis C infection.

Hepatitis C causes slow tissue damage and progressing scarring. Our liver two protective mechanisms against any damaging factor. Either their regeneration with complete restoration of the liver structure and function or there sustained scarring of liver tissue leading to damage. When the liver damaged by a single strong injury such as in donating a part of the liver. Regeneration highly likely even if a large area affected. But if the injury repetitive and the liver does not have enough time for healing from a previous injury and next injury ensues. As the case with hepatitis C infection – the liver cannot effectively cope. It does not the time and space to heal and regenerate.

Hepatitis C in Pakistan

Pakistan is enduring an HCV epidemic of historical proportions—one in every 20 Pakistanis already infected. With this infection playing a major role in liver disease burden in this country. HCV prevalence high in all risk populations with most transmission apparently driven by healthcare procedures Hepatitis C Affects Human Liver. Malpractice, misdiagnosis, use of nonsterile surgical and dental equipment, and using a single syringe more than once all are largely contributing factors. Drug abusers, sex workers, and malnourished children are high-risk groups.

More about Hepatitis C:

We strive for community awareness against Hepatitis C and urge the government to make HCV treatment and prevention of national priority in Pakistan. Although the country has made efforts to increase coverage of safe injection and blood screening and to improve infection control commitment to prevention in all segments of the healthcare system, including the private sector, still the target of the complete elimination of hepatitis C seems very distant.

Dr. Faisal Dar Clinic is the most reliable and most professional liver clinic, where satisfactory diagnostic and treatment facilities of international standards are offered. For any information regarding hepatitis C and how it affects liver health, please feel free to contact us,

Dr. Faisal Dar (Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute, Lahore)

Call us at: 0341–0543883, 042-111 117 554



Gastroenteritis – Symptoms & Treatment

Hepatitis C


Hepatitis C infection, a viral infection that mainly affects the liver. It is also called viral hepatitis. During the first phase of this infection. Many people often don’t feel any symptoms or if they even feel these are mostly mild. That the reason Hepatitis C considered as “silent killer”.

Patients affected by Hepatitis C infection occasionally feel fever. Dark urine, abdominal pain, and yellow discoloration of the skin. The hepatitis C virus persists in 75 to 85 percent of patients with initial infection and may not cause any alarming symptoms. Over the course of time, the infection leads to liver damage and cirrhosis. Cirrhosis caused by chronic hepatitis C infection may lead to liver failure. liver cancer, and or dilated blood vessels in the gastrointestinal tract.

An estimated 71 million people or nearly one percent of the entire world population infected with hepatitis C as of 2017. In 2013, about eleven million new infections have been reported. Most common in Africa, Central America, and Asia. Infection of Hepatitis C claimed many lives, many of them unreported. Almost 167,000 deaths due to liver cancer and 326,000 deaths due to cirrhosis occurred in 2015 alone due to hepatitis C.

Broadly categorized Hepatitis C into the following.

Acute Hepatitis C Infection

Sudden onset and acute symptoms develop in only 20–30% of Hepatitis C infected patients. Symptoms may appear after 4-12 weeks of infection, it may take even 6 months before any symptoms are felt.

When symptoms do appear these are generally mild and nonspecific. Major symptoms may include fatigue, nausea and vomiting, fever, muscle pain, abdominal pain, diminished appetite, and weight loss. jaundice (occurs in ~25% of those infected), dark urine, and clay-colored stools. Acute Hepatitis C alone often does not cause liver failure. though it can result in liver injury and elevated liver enzymes.

If you or any of your loved ones feeling any of the above symptoms and laboratory findings are suggestive of liver disease. Please consult a specialized liver clinic. Dr. Faisal Dar Clinic Quaid e Azam Hospital a specialized liver clinic operated by highly skilled professionals and providing all liver-related services under one roof.

After the acute phase, Hepatitis C infection may resolve in 10 to 50% of patients, mainly young and females.


Chronic Infection

About 80% of patients infected with the hepatitis C virus develop a chronic infection. This is characterized by detectable viral replication for at least six months. Most people will feel no symptoms during the initial days of chronic hepatitis C infection. In limited no of patients, Chronic hepatitis C can cause fatigue and mild cognitive impairment. Chronic infection may lead to liver cirrhosis and liver cancer after several years. Fatty liver occurs in about half of patients before cirrhosis

Many as 30% of those suffering from chronic hepatitis C infection develop cirrhosis over the years. There increased risk of Cirrhosis in patients concomitantly infected with hepatitis B, HIV, in alcohol users, and those of the male gender. If chronic hepatitis C patients alcoholic the risk of cirrhosis increased 100 fold. Cirrhosis carries a very high risk of liver cancer.

More about Chronic infection

Liver cirrhosis may lead to hypertension (portal), accumulation of fluid in the abdomen,  bleeding, enlarged veins, especially in the stomach and esophagus, jaundice, and hepatic encephalopathy. Ascites or fluid in the abdomen more common in chronic hepatitis C patients. Chronic Hepatitis C also associated with other complications not related to the liver. Most common among them are autoimmune disorders such as Sjögren’s syndrome, lichen planus, a low platelet count, porphyria cutanea tarda, necrolytic acral erythema, insulin resistance, diabetes mellitus, diabetic nephropathy, autoimmune thyroiditis, and B-cell lymphoproliferative disorders. Chronic hepatitis C infection increases the risk of pancreatic cancer. Some patients may experience dry mouth or develop stones in salivary glands.

Occult Infection

In this type of Hepatitis C, infected persons may seem asymptomatic and clear from infection but the virus may still be present within their bodies. In such cases virus of hepatitis C is not detectable with conventional testing but found with ultra-sensitive specific tests. In the past liver, biopsies were performed to detect viral genome but now newer methods used successfully. These include an antibody test for the virus’ core protein and the detection of the viral genome after first concentrating the viral particles by ultracentrifugation.

Another form of hepatitis C infection reported characterized by the absence of antibodies to hepatitis C but with moderately elevated serum liver enzymes. This form as cryptogenic occult infection.

More about Occult Infection

The negative effects of occult infection appear to be less severe than with chronic infection but can vary from minimal to hepatocellular cancer. This infection presented with pretty bizarre clinical findings and often hard to diagnose, especially in countries like Pakistan. As you are aware that your health, your most precious commodity, so don’t take chances. Consult specialized liver clinic for any liver-related problems. Dr. Faisal Dar, your one-stop solution for all liver-related problems. Don’t hesitate to contact us and book your appointment.

For any further queries

Dr. Faisal Dar (Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute, Lahore)

Call us at: 0341–0543883, 042-111 117 554

Or drop us an email at



Hepatitis B Infection & Treatment

Hepatitis B Infection & Treatment



Hepatitis B Infection and inflammation of the liver. It can acute but often progress into chronic liver disease. Hepatitis B leads to cirrhosis, and liver failure and is the leading cause of liver-related death globally. Chronic Infection is among the most common cause also behind primary liver carcinoma. A potentially life-threatening infection and need immediate intervention.

Mode of Transmission:

Hepatitis spread from mother to child. Children under the age of five are more prone to develop chronic hepatitis Infection. Blood from an infected person also another major source of transmission of this infection. Sharing needless, used syringes, tattooing or piercing and dental procedures done with contaminated equipment can spread this infection from one person to another. There a high risk of infection in male-male sex partners and heterosexuals having multiple partners.

Any medical or surgical equipment contaminated with infected blood can transmit the Infection. Syringes sharing in drug abusers and blades contaminated with blood are potential sources of infection. The virus can survive outside the human body for at least seven days and still can be a source of infection if it enters the body of an unvaccinated person. The incubation period of the virus from 30 to 180 days.


In the early stage of hepatitis B, most people don’t feel any symptoms. After the incubation period, acute hepatitis also develops, and the patient experiences extreme fatigue. loss of appetite, fever, nausea, vomiting, weight loss, jaundice, dark urine, and abdominal pain. Hepatitis B can cause acute liver failure in some people and may progress into chronic hepatitis in others. Gradually progressing into cirrhosis and liver failure if left untreated.

Most of the adults will recover from acute hepatitis B and only 5% of infections will progress into chronic hepatitis. But this not the case with children below 6 years of age. Nearly 50% of them will suffer from chronic hepatitis after acquiring the infection. Patients with HIV often co-infected with the virus.

Hepatitis B diagnosed with the help of a blood test. Antibodies against the virus are formed in the initial stage of infection and HBsAg and IgMbecome positive. Patients are also positive for HBe Agindicating active replication of the virus.


There is no specific need for treatment in case of acute hepatitis B. Symptomatic treatment given and the patient’s condition also monitored. Dietary supplements and enough fluid intake advised. Unnecessary use of medication discouraged.

Chronic Hepatitis B needs to be treated with medicine including some antiviral drugs. Although only a few people need treatment. The timely intervention will result in the prevention of cirrhosis and reduce the incidence of liver cancer. Treatment in most people results in only suppression of the virus and not its eradication that’s why people need life long medicine for this infection. Antivirals used for it expensive and countries with a majority of the low-income population can not afford it. The best way is also prevention. Vaccines for the virus are widely available with very good protection parameters.

Hepatitis B in Pakistan:

The prevalence of hepatitis B varies among different groups of populations and different localities in Pakistan. Recent data shows HBV is more prevalent in the Afghan population and in prison inmates, professional blood donors. People with multiple drug transfusion history, health care professional, and psychiatric patients. The general population of some areas shows as much as 5% of people infected from it. These specific areas include Southern Punjab also interior Sindh, Tatta, Kurram Agency, Baltistan, and some areas of Lahore. All these areas have the highest rate of infection among its residents.

For further guidelines or quarries reach us

Dr. Faisal Dar (Pakistan Kidney and Liver Institute, Lahore)

Call us at: 0341–0543883, 042-111 117 554

Or drop us an email at



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