Review article: the reversibility of cirrhosis


  • This uncommissioned review article was subject to full peer-review.

Correspondence to:

Prof. R. Malekzadeh, Digestive Disease Research Center, Shariati Hospital, Tehran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran.




Cirrhosis is the end result of many types of chronic liver diseases. Recent developments in the understanding of the process of hepatic fibrogenesis have revealed that the process is a dynamic one and a capacity for recovery from any degree of fibrosis including those associated with cirrhosis is plausible.


To review current evidence of histopathological reversibility following drug therapy of more common aetiologies of cirrhosis.


A PubMed search was performed and the evidence for histopathological regression of advanced fibrosis/cirrhosis following drug therapy was reviewed as of the end of February 2012.


There is abundant clinical evidence in support of the idea of the reversibility of cirrhosis in patients with different aetiologies of advanced hepatic disease including viral, autoimmune and metabolic/infiltrative liver disease.


The concept of cirrhosis has changed from being a form of static and irreversible entity to a dynamic and reversible diseases stage. Novel therapeutic strategies are under investigation to target specific steps in the process of fibrogenesis with the aim of reversing advanced fibrosis/cirrhosis.