Published online Apr 21, 2019. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v25.i15.1817
Peer-review started: February 25, 2019
First decision: March 5, 2019
Revised: March 12, 2019
Accepted: March 16, 2019
Article in press: March 16, 2019
Published online: April 21, 2019
The aging of the organ function causes sensitivity to the disease progression and need careful consideration for the medical treatment. With the increase of aging population, the opportunity to provide medical treatment for people in very old age is rapidly increasing therefore, the understanding of the various physiological changes of cellular function, size and function of organs are essential for the decision of therapeutic options. Among the various chronic conditions seen in elderly people, we have focused on liver cirrhosis, since despite specific therapeutic options for many of liver diseases including direct acting antivirals for hepatitis C virus, nucleoside analogs for hepatitis B, and corticosteroids for autoimmune hepatitis, there is currently no standard therapy to treat liver cirrhosis, which is the final stage of these liver diseases. Therefore, management of the various symptoms of liver cirrhosis is essential, and aging-related parameters must be considered in the decision making for therapeutic strategies and dosage of the available medicine. In this mini-review, we have summarized the therapeutic options to manage various symptoms of liver cirrhosis, carefully considering the physiological changes of various organs associated with aging.
Core tip: The increasing aging population is a worldwide issue and societies are facing various problems including long-term care for populations with a high prevalence of chronic conditions including the liver diseases. It is clear that management of hepatitis and cirrhosis is important to maintain hepatic function as well as activities of daily living and quality of life of liver disease patients. While various therapeutic options have been available including newly developed medicines and techniques, the aging-related parameters must be considered in the decision making for therapeutic strategies and dosage of the available medicine. However, as there is no information available to date in this field, to fill this gap, we have summarized the points that must be considered upon the management of liver cirrhosis in elderly patients. The information summarized will be helpful for physicians treating the elderly patients with the understanding of the aging-related changes of the body and organs.