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Author: Mikael Häggström [notes 1]
Cirrhosis of the liver:

Gross processing

In autopsy, make consecutive liver slices, such as in the sagittal or coronal plane.

Gross examination

Cirrhosis is characterized by pale areas. Categorize into either of the following: (1) micronodular, (2) macronodular, or (3) mixed:[1]

Micronodular cirrhosis, with diffuse areas of pallor.
  • Micronodular or diffuse cirrhosis (uniform nodules less than 3 mm in diameter).[notes 2]
  • Macronodular cirrhosis (irregular nodules with a variation greater than 3 mm in diameter).
  • Mixed cirrhosis (when features of both micronodular and macronodular cirrhosis are present): Usually micronodular cirrhosis progresses into macronodular cirrhosis over time.

Microscopic evaluation


  • Diagnosing cirrhosis. The diagnosis of cirrhosis by biopsy requires the presence of fibrosis and nodules.
  • Assessing the degree of inflammation (grade) and fibrosis (stage) of the disease.


  1. For a full list of contributors, see article history. Creators of images are attributed at the image description pages, seen by clicking on the images. See Patholines:Authorship for details.
  2. Micronodular or diffuse cirrhosis can be due to alcohol, hemochromatosis, hepatic venous outflow obstruction, chronic biliary obstruction, jejunoileal bypass, and Indian childhood cirrhosis.

Main page


  1. 1.0 1.1 Bashar Sharma; Savio John.. Hepatic Cirrhosis. StatPearls at the National Center for Biotechnology Information. Last Update: June 3, 2019.
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 2.3 Boyd, Alexander; Cain, Owen; Chauhan, Abhishek; Webb, Gwilym James (2020). "Medical liver biopsy: background, indications, procedure and histopathology ". Frontline Gastroenterology 11 (1): 40–47. doi:10.1136/flgastro-2018-101139. ISSN 2041-4137. 
    -"This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 Unported (CC BY 4.0) license"