Assessing liver fibrosis

2008 Expert Review of Gastroenterology & Hepatology 2, 4 (541-552)

Prognosis and management of chronic liver diseases greatly depend on the amount and progression of liver fibrosis. Although liver biopsy is still considered as the gold standard to evaluate fibrosis in the liver, it is an invasive procedure, with rare but potentially life-threatening complications, and is prone to sampling errors. These limitations have stimulated the search for new noninvasive approaches. A number of methods, including serum indices and the measurement of liver stiffness using transient elastography, have been proposed for the noninvasive assessment of hepatic fibrosis, mainly in patients with chronic hepatitis C. It can be anticipated that these noninvasive methods will become an important tool in clinical practice in the near future. This review is aimed at discussing the advantages and limits of these methods and the perspectives for their rationale for use in clinical practice.

Pubmed : 19072402