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Vitamin D defi ciency in patients with liver cirrhosis

There is ongoing evidence that vitamin D is related to the pathophysiology of cirrhosis. Although the incidence of vitamin D deficiency in chronic liver diseases and cirrhosis is strongly documented, its pathogenic association with advanced liver fibrosis remains controversial. There is evidence of a significant relation of 25(OH)D levels with the degree of liver dysfunction, considering that an inverse correlation of 25(OH)D levels with both Child-Pugh score and Model for End-Stage Liver Disease has been reported. In addition, vitamin D defi ciency has been shown to increase the risk for overall mortality and infections in patients with cirrhosis. Vitamin D deficiency has been also associated with advanced stages of hepatocellular carcinoma and poor prognosis. Finally, there are studies suggesting that patients with chronic hepatitis C and normal vitamin D levels have higher virological response to treatment. However, there are not enough studies conducted in cirrhoticonly populations. The association between vitamin D and cirrhosis demonstrates a great potential for clinical application. The relation between vitamin D deficiency and the degree of liver function, degree of fibrosis and infectious complications could support its use as a prognostic index and a diagnostic tool.

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