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Non-invasive assessment of liver fibrosis

Papastergiou, V; Tsochatzis, E; Burroughs, AK; (2012) Non-invasive assessment of liver fibrosis. Annals of Gastroenterology , 25 (3) 218 - 231. Gold open access

Abstract

The presence and degree of hepatic fibrosis is crucial in order to make therapeutic decisions and predict clinical outcomes. Currently, the place of liver biopsy as the standard of reference for assessing liver fibrosis has been challenged by the increasing awareness of a number of drawbacks related to its use (invasiveness, sampling error, inter-/intraobserver variability). In parallel with this, noninvasive assessment of liver fibrosis has experienced explosive growth in recent years and a wide spectrum of noninvasive methods ranging from serum assays to imaging techniques have been developed. Some are validated methods, such as the Fibrotest/ Fibrosure and transient elastography in Europe, and are gaining a growing role in routine clinical practice, especially in chronic hepatitis C. Large-scale validation is awaited in the setting of other chronic liver diseases. However, noninvasive tests used to detect significant fibrosis and cirrhosis, the two major clinical endpoints, are not yet at a level of performance suitable for routine diagnostic tests, and there is still no perfect surrogate or method able to completely replace an optimal liver biopsy. This article aims to review current noninvasive tests for the assessment of liver fibrosis and the perspectives for their rational use in clinical practice. © 2012 Hellenic Society of Gastroenterology.

Type:Article
Title:Non-invasive assessment of liver fibrosis
Open access status:An open access publication
Publisher version:http://www.annalsgastro.gr/

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