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7. What is and what causes fibrosis of the liver?

While people are actively infected, we have very excellent means now for measuring the virus in the blood and we can tell you at any given moment whether you have the hepatitis virus in your blood or not and these people clear the virus and then they become immune and they can't have hepatitis B again. But the people who are not able to clear the virus wind up with development of a lot of scar tissue and these scars are what start to spread around the liver. The inflammation sites, the scar tissue, is called fibrosis. Hepatic fibrosis is the overgrowth of connective tissue within the liver which restricts the liver's ability to function normally and the scar tissue basically as the virus remains and continues to eat away at the liver cells; the liver cells are replaced with scar tissue. And finally you wind up with more scars and not enough liver cells and then you wind up with cirrhosis.