Contemporary management of pain in cirrhosis: Toward precision therapy for pain

Hepatology. 2023 Jan 1;77(1):290-304. doi: 10.1002/hep.32598. Epub 2022 Jul 6.


Chronic pain is highly prevalent in patients with cirrhosis and is associated with poor health-related quality of life and poor functional status. However, there is limited guidance on appropriate pain management in this population, and pharmacologic treatment can be harmful, leading to adverse outcomes, such as gastrointestinal bleeding, renal injury, falls, and hepatic encephalopathy. Chronic pain can be categorized mechanistically into three pain types: nociceptive, neuropathic, and nociplastic, each responsive to different therapies. By discussing the identification, etiology, and treatment of these three mechanistic pain descriptors with a focus on specific challenges in patients with cirrhosis, we provide a framework for better tailoring treatments, including nonpharmacologic therapies, to patients' needs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Chronic Pain* / therapy
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / complications
  • Liver Cirrhosis / therapy
  • Pain Management
  • Quality of Life