Thursday, May 7, 2009

Fibrosis – the medical junk

According to yesterday’s biopsy result (explained so brusquely to me over the phone) Elliot has liver fibrosis. So, what does this mean?

"Liver fibrosis refers to the accumulation of tough, fibrous scar tissue in the liver. Formation of scar tissue is a normal bodily response to injury, but in fibrosis this healing process goes awry. When functional liver cells are injured due to viral infection, heavy alcohol consumption, toxins, trauma, or other factors, the immune system is activated and the repair process swings into gear. The injury or death of hepatocytes stimulates inflammatory immune cells to release cytokines, growth factors, and other chemicals. These chemical messengers directly support cells in the liver called hepatic stellate cells to activate and produce collagen, glycoproteins (such as fibronectin), proteoglycans, and other substances. These substances are deposited in the liver, causing the build-up of extracellular matrix (nonfunctional connective tissue). At the same time, the process of breaking down or degrading collagen is impaired. In a healthy liver, the synthesis (fibrogenesis) and breakdown (fibrolysis) of matrix tissue are in balance. Fibrosis occurs when excessive scar tissue builds up faster than it can be broken down and removed from the liver."

WHEW! There is also fibrosis in the ports. This is not a good finding!

Elliot has had elevated (mildly elevated) liver enzymes for some time (up and down for some time). He also has a positive ANA (an autoantibody NOT specific to the liver suggesting autoimmune disease). I would suspect that the ANA is present as some “type” of autoimmune disease is present, but hepatitis? We are uncertain. I have autoimmune thyroid disease. My body attacks my thyroid. A person can live without a thyroid gland. I was praying for thyroid disease. The tests for it in Wee E’s body are negative.

But we don’t know if he has the following (LIVER Specific antibodies):
1. ASGPR, anti-asialoglycoprotein receptor antibodies
2. LP, anti-liver-pancreas antibodies
3. LC1, anti-liver cytosol type 1
4. SLA, anti-soluble liver antigen

Elliot’s liver biopsy has been sent to the University of Nebraska Medical Center. There are liver specialists present. Our upper GI doc does not conduct more than two or three liver biopsies per month. The folks at UNMC do. That’s where we’re at.

On another note, Elliot’s gallbladder was sent to the lab as well and get this: THERE WERE NO GALLSTONES PRESENT! What? Either the radiologist who read the initial ultrasound report had his head up his ass (excuse me) or Elliot’s supposed stones were reabsorbed or simply moved into a duct. If indeed they were there and did definitely move into a duct, they COULD have damaged his liver. That would be the ideal situation. But, ideal situations seem to be few and far between where Wee E is concerned.

Generally, I can write with creativity. But today, I cannot. So little to say, but so much time--time to wait for additional tests and additional results--additional pain and additional tears. Despite my empty mouth, the words are in my head, but today, only facts. The fact: Elliot is very ill. In a nutshell, that’s it. Very ill.


Tammy and Parker said...

Hey Sweetie!

I'm sorry to hear of our beautiful E being so sick. Stay in close contact with Chris, she has always been such a support and help with Parker.

Keep loving on that boy and we'll keep you both in our prayers. Know that so many are sending up prayers and hugs to your family.

Tammy and Parker

Melissa @ Banana Migraine said...

Oh my dear Michelle and Wee E. I'm so sorry to hear that results weren't as hopeful...and that he is so sick. :( I'm crying here and I hope that you find much support and help from the other doctors that are looking at his results. You are in my thoughts each day!

Michelle said...

Popping over to read the update. I'm so sorry to hear. Thoughts and prayers continue for E!!

simplycamille said...

Michelle, Wee E, and your whole family, I've only just met you,and you have me in tears. Tears of love, tears of solidarity, tears of hope.
You guys are in my thoughts and prayers.

Mommy to those Special Ks said...

Oh Michelle, I'm so sorry to hear this... and it ticks me off to NO end that the other docs wouldn't listen to you! There is nothing worse than being treated like a dumb mom. I have told many a doctor in the last 4 years that I am NOT an expert in ANY of their fields, but I AM an expert on my child and they better shut up and listen to me! (Sometimes I say it a little nicer than that.) We will be praying for the best possible outcome for E... and that the test he has to endure aren't too painful. Please let us know if there is anything we can do!

Lori said...

Keeping Elliot and you in our thoughts and prayers! Keep updating us as you can.


datri said...

Sorry about all of this. Praying for E.

mum2brady said...

Michelle - so sorry the news wasn't more positive :( We are keeping your Wee E in our prayers for health and healing and miracles!!!

Christine and Brady

Amy said...

I am so sorry to hear this news and I hope that the next round of tests bring more positive results. You've been through so much--thinking of E. and wishing him health and healing.

Michelle said...

I'm so sorry to hear how sick he is and I pray you get some more answers soon.