Assessment of fibrosis in chronic liver diseases

Authors

  • Kun ZHOU,

    1. Department of Gastroenterology, Renji Hospital, Shanghai Institute of Digestive Disease, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200001, China
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  • Lun Gen LU

    1. Department of Gastroenterology, Renji Hospital, Shanghai Institute of Digestive Disease, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200001, China
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Correspondence to: Lun Gen LU, Department of Gastroenterology, Renji Hospital, Shanghai Institute of Digestive Disease, Shanghai Jiaotong University School of Medicine, Shanghai 200001, China. Email: lungenlu1965@yahoo.com

Abstract

The assessment of liver fibrosis provides useful information not only for diagnosis but also for therapeutic decisions. Although liver biopsy is the current gold standard for fibrosis assessment, it has some risks and limitations, including intra-observer and inter-observer variation, sampling error and variability. In recent years, many studies and great interest have been dedicated to the development of non-invasive tests to substitute a liver biopsy for fibrosis assessment and follow up. Advances in serological and radiological tests such as serum marker panels, transient elastography and their combinations can assess fibrosis accurately and reduce the need for a liver biopsy. But at present, all have failed to completely replace a liver biopsy because of their respective limitations and an imperfect gold standard used in current researches. The searching for an ideal surrogate is still in progress.

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