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Hepatology (Liver Disease)

Yale New Haven Hospital offers specialized hepatology programs to treat a variety of diseases affecting the liver, gallbladder, biliary tract and pancreas in adults.

The nationally recognized hepatologists at Yale New Haven Hospital work at one of the leading liver research centers in the U.S., The Yale Liver Center. Being at the forefront of research allows the team to apply the latest advancements in treatments in the care of our patients. The Center is one of only three National Institutes of Health (NIH) sponsored liver research centers in the U.S. Our hepatologists are internationally recognized experts who are defining the standards of practice in writing national professional society guidelines in the care of patients of liver disease including viral hepatitis, autoimmune and cholestatic liver diseases, Wilson’s disease, liver cirrhosis and liver cancer.

Advanced and Innovative Care

As national and international leaders in the research and treatment of patients with chronic liver disease, our team members provide patients the opportunity to participate in clinical trials, all of which offer new treatment options otherwise unavailable to the general public. Our participation in clinical trials and research help to assure our patients have access to the newest and best treatments available.

In addition, patients hospitalized with cirrhosis receive specialized care within a dedicated liver disease hospital unit, which is staffed by medical and nursing professionals trained in the care of patients with end-stage liver disease. The unit has 24/7 hepatologists on call and is the leading referral center in Connecticut and southern New England for the care of complex patients with cirrhosis.

Yale New Haven Hospital Hepatology programs

With over twenty hepatologists on the Digestive Health hepatology team, we are able to offer an array of specialized programs including Autoimmune and Cholestatic Liver, Fatty Liver, Gaucher Disease, Wilson Disease and Viral Hepatitis. In addition, patients with liver cancer are treated at Smilow Cancer Hospital and those requiring liver transplants are cared for at the Yale New Haven Transplantation Center.

Autoimmune and Cholestatic Liver

The Autoimmune and Cholestatic Liver Disease program consists of dedicated experts and support staff committed to caring for patients with rare liver diseases. Liver disease can be inherited or caused by a variety of factors such as obesity, diabetes or viral infections.

Fatty Liver Disease

Fatty Liver Disease Program treats patients experiencing fat accumulating in their liver. This may lead to swelling and inflammation that can cause liver scarring, cirrhosis, and additional health problems.

Gaucher Disease (Lysosomal Disorders)

Gaucher Disease program is dedicated to the holistic, individualized, and science-driven care of patients with Gaucher disease. Research led by specialists at YNHH have contributed to new treatments and advancements in the field.

Liver Cancer

Patients with Liver Cancer are cared for by liver cancer specialists at Smilow Cancer Hospital including hepatologists, transplant and hepatobiliary surgeons, interventional radiologists, radiation oncologists, pathologists, and medical oncologists, who work together to find the best treatment in order to preserve liver function and monitor for possible recurrence of the cancer.

Liver Transplant

Patients requiring liver transplant receive care at Yale New Haven Transplantation Center. This Center offers comprehensive care by a multidisciplinary team to patients who need transplantation.

Viral Hepatitis

Viral Hepatitis Program provides state-of-the-art therapy for patients with Hepatitis B and Hepatitis C infections.

Wilson Disease

Wilson Disease Program offers care for patients whose body does not properly metabolize copper, which causes dangerously high levels to accumulate.


Specialty Hepatology Programs

Undiagnosed Liver Disease

Our Undiagnosed Liver Disease Clinic is one of only two liver clinics in the U.S., which focus on the evaluation of patients who suffer from liver diseases of unknown cause despite comprehensive testing performed by doctors. Our team specializes in investigating why a certain individual develops liver disease by gathering information to help determine the most effective, personalized diagnosis and management of their condition, and incorporates specialized whole exome genetic sequencing studies to evaluate for rare genetic and metabolic liver disorders not identified by standard laboratory testing.

Alcohol and Addiction Treatment in Hepatology

Our clinic for Alcohol and Addiction Treatment in Hepatology provides integrated care for patients with chronic liver disease and addiction. Our team consists of staff with expertise in both hepatology and addiction medicine. We focus on the evaluation and treatment of patients with chronic liver diseases including cirrhosis and alcohol-associated liver disease as well as co-occurring alcohol and other substance use disorders. 

Liver Cancer Monitoring

At Yale New Haven Health, our team of experts focus on monitoring and treating individuals who might be at an increased risk of developing liver cancer, including Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the most common primary liver cancer and one of the fastest growing cancer types in the United States. Patients with known liver disease or increased risk factors are closely monitored through regular imaging and tests to screen for signs of liver cancer. Some conditions that lead to increased risk factors for liver cancer are:

  • Alcohol related Liver Disease 
  • Diabetes 
  • Fatty Liver Disease
  • Hepatitis B or C
  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Obesity

It is important for liver-related conditions to be monitored and treated to preserve liver function in the event of cancer. Our expert hepatologists recommend patients at increased risk receive screening for liver cancer every 6 months with an abdominal ultrasound and a blood test to detect alpha-fetoprotein. A CT or MRI may also be used in more complex cases. 

Screening for liver cancer with ultrasound and blood tests is indicated in the following patients: 

  • Cirrhosis of the liver
  • Hepatitis B Virus without cirrhosis, (commonly found in males older than 40 years of age and women older than 50 years of age) and or with a family history of HCC or with a PAGE-B score greater than 10.