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Current Gastroenterology Reports

, Volume 3, Issue 1, pp 12–18 | Cite as

Hepatic fibrosis: Are any of the serum markers useful?

  • Sangik Oh
  • Nezam H. Afdhal
Article

Abstract

There is a clinical need for noninvasive measurement of liver fibrosis both to diagnose significant liver fibrosis and to monitor the effects of therapy on fibrogenesis and fibrolysis. Multiple clinical markers have been evaluated over the years, and as our understanding of the molecular process of liver scarring has advanced, newer markers have appeared. Serum markers include extracellular matrix proteins such as the N-terminal propeptide of collagen III, hyaluronan, YKL-40, laminin, metalloproteinases, and their inhibitors. Use of multiple markers has led to 90% sensitivity in diagnosing cirrhosis, but specificity is variable at about 60%. Automated systems to measure these markers are under development and are being evaluated for their ability to monitor fibrosis during and after therapy in multiple liver diseases, including hepatitis B and C. Although no individual fibrosis marker is clinically applicable today, we foresee a future in which monitoring fibrosis markers will replace sequential liver biopsy as a standard of care.

Keywords

Chronic Hepatitis Hyaluronic Acid Laminin Chronic Liver Disease Liver Fibrosis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Current Science Inc 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sangik Oh
    • 1
  • Nezam H. Afdhal
    • 1
  1. 1.Harvard Medical SchoolBeth Israel Deaconess Medical CenterBostonUSA

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