Assessment of liver fibrosis in the clinical setting: something is changing?

2007 Minerva Gastroenterologica e Dietologica 53, 1 (111-114)

Clinical management of compensated chronic liver diseases (CLD) requires precise definition of the stage of liver fibrosis which is the key histologic predictor of progression to cirrhosis. Several methods are used to assess liver fibrosis. Among those, percutaneous liver biopsy is still the gold standard. However, the recent introduction of liver imaging techniques, the rising of statistical tests able to classify CLD noninvasively, and a reconsideration of its potential complications, have contributed to an audit of the evolving role of liver biopsy. At present, there is an increasing interest for noninvasive approaches to evaluate the stage of liver fibrosis in the clinical work-up of patients with CLD. Transient elastography (FibroScan) is a new, noninvasive method to assess liver stiffness and, consequently, the degree of liver fibrosis. Since its use in the clinical setting is of great interest, further studies should define the exact role of this procedure.

Pubmed : 17415348