Reversal of liver fibrosis

2009 Saudi Journal of Gastroenterology 15;1 (72-79)

Hepatic fibrosis is a scarring process associated with an increased and altered deposition of extracellular matrix in the liver. It is caused by a variety of stimuli and if fibrosis continues unopposed, it would progress to cirrhosis which poses a significant health problem worldwide. At the cellular and molecular level, this progressive process is characterized by cellular activation of hepatic stellate cells and aberrant activity of transforming growth factor-beta with its downstream cellular mediators. Liver biopsy has been the reference test for assessment of hepatic fibrosis, but because of its limitations, noninvasive markers of liver fibrosis were developed. Liver fibrosis or cirrhosis was considered irreversible in the past but progress of research on the molecular pathogenesis of liver fibrosis has shown that hepatic cellular recovery is possible. Currently, no acceptable therapeutic strategies exist, other than removal of the fibrogenic stimulus, to treat this potentially devastating disease.

Pubmed : 19568569