[Assessment and reversibility of liver fibrosis in viral hepatitis]

2011 La Revue du Praticien 61;1 (39-43)

The evaluation of liver fibrosis in chronic viral hepatitis is of paramount importance since secondary complications, including hepatocellular carcinoma, occur in patients with extensive fibrosis and cirrhosis. Clinical examination and some simple biological and morphological tests represent the first step to appraise liver fibrosis in viral hepatitis. Biochemical (Fibrotest, Hepascore, Fibrometre) or morphological (Fibroscan) methods have emerged over the past ten years to avoid--in more than half of patients--the systematic use of the liver biopsy to appraise liver fibrosis in chronic hepatitis C virus infection. The liver biopsy remains however essential in many situations, especially for demonstrating regression of cirrhosis after viral inactivation. Regression of cirrhosis is now a recognized concept, thanks to the next generation of antiviral treatments. Today, the inactivation of viral hepatitis is an achievable primary goal and regression of cirrhosis becomes a reasonable secondary goal.

Pubmed : 21452541