Liver fibrosis is the result of persistent liver injury, and is characterized by sustained scar formation and disruption of the normal liver architecture. The extent of fibrosis is considered as an important prognostic factor for the patient outcome, as an absence of (early) treatment can lead to the development of liver cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. Till date, the most sensitive and specific way for the diagnosis and staging of liver fibrosis remains liver biopsy, an invasive diagnostic tool, which is associated with high costs and discomfort for the patient. Over time, non-invasive scoring systems have been developed, of which the measurements of serum markers and liver stiffness are validated for use in the clinic. These tools lack however the sensitivity and specificity to detect small changes in the progression or regression of both early and late stages of fibrosis. Novel non-invasive diagnostic markers with the potential to overcome these limitations have been developed, but often lack validation in large patient cohorts. In this review, we will summarize novel trends in non-invasive markers of liver fibrosis development and will discuss their (dis-)advantages for use in the clinic.
Biochimica et Biophysica Acta (BBA) - Molecular Basis of Disease – Elsevier
Published: Apr 1, 2018
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