Despite several morphologic and functional changes that have been described in the aging liver, most relevant studies fail to identify a significant age-related deficit in liver function in humans. One of the important age-related changes is a decrease in regenerative capacity, which may partly explain the impaired recovery after severe viral and toxic injury in the elderly. Nevertheless, livers from older subjects are used successfully for transplantation. Substantial morbidity and mortality in the elderly is attributable to liver diseases, and the number of patients older than 65 years of age with chronic liver disease is increasing rapidly. Although there are no liver diseases specific to advanced age, the presentation, clinical course and management of liver diseases in the elderly may differ in important respects from those of younger individuals.
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