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Clinical evidence for the regression of liver fibrosis

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Derek Mann



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-ND).


Fibrosis is a common pathological process for the majority of liver diseases which in a significant minority of patients leads to end-stage cirrhosis and/or hepatocellular carcinoma. Data emerging from small rodent models of chronic liver disease have demonstrated that fibrotic extracellular matrix can be remodelled and near-normal hepatic architecture regenerated upon cessation of injury. Moreover, regression of liver fibrosis in these model systems can be stimulated with drugs that target the activities of fibrogenic hepatic stellate cells. These findings are exciting as they suggest that established fibrosis is susceptible to regression and possibly even reversion. Alongside these experimental studies is a growing body of clinical data that suggest regression of fibrosis may also occur in liver disease patients for whom an effective treatment is available for their underlying liver injury. This paper provides an up-to-date review of the currently available clinical data and also considers technical caveats that highlight the need for caution in establishing a new dogma that human liver fibrosis is reversible. (C) 2012 European Association for the Study of the Liver. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Ellis EL, Mann DA

Publication type: Review

Publication status: Published

Journal: Journal of Hepatology

Year: 2012

Volume: 56

Issue: 5

Pages: 1171-1180

Print publication date: 13/01/2012

ISSN (print): 0168-8278

ISSN (electronic): 1600-0641



DOI: 10.1016/j.jhep.2011.09.024