Primary biliary cirrhosis develops when the liver’s bile ducts are destroyed. A slow process, the destruction of the bile ducts eventually causes the liver to become inflamed. This inflammation then causes scarring of the liver, or cirrhosis. Much like other forms of liver disease, primary biliary cirrhosis permanently damages the liver as scar tissue develops. As more scar tissue builds up, the structure and function of the liver are affected. In addition to cirrhosis, primary biliary cirrhosis can lead to portal hypertension, enlarged veins, osteoporosis, liver cancer, and vitamin deficiencies.
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