Initial Treatment of Patients Who Present with Liver Disease

  • George J. Brewer


You may recall from Chapter 2 (p. 16) that approximately 40% of the patients present clinically with liver disease. As we also discussed in that chapter (pp. 16–21), the liver disease presentation falls into three types: hepatic failure, hepatitis, and cirrhosis. Here, we will discuss the “initial treatment” of these types of patients. My working definition of initial treatment is that period of time when the patient is still undergoing, or is at least at high risk for undergoing, additional copper toxicity. Once the copper levels are reduced below toxic thresholds, the patient is then in the “maintenance treatment” phase (discussed in Chapter 8). The length of the initial treatment period depends upon the drug being used. With zinc therapy alone, it may be as long as six months. With trientine or penicillamine used individually for the initial treatment of hepatic disease, it is about four months.


Medical Therapy Portal Hypertension Hepatic Failure Donor Liver None None 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • George J. Brewer
    • 1
  1. 1.University of Michigan Medical SchoolUSA

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