The Pros and Cons of Liver Fibrosis Evaluation Methods
April 13, 2017
Chronic liver disease severity is determined by the liver’s landscape; the more liver cells that are damaged and scarred, the more advanced the liver disease is. Even after an initial diagnosis, the current state of your liver’s tissue is a major factor for predicting prognosis and making ongoing therapeutic decisions. Liver biopsy is the globally accepted reference test, but non-invasive techniques are becoming increasingly reliable methods for evaluating liver damage.
When liver damage outpaces the rate of liver cell regeneration, scarring of the liver can gradually lead to cirrhosis (permanent scarring and hardening of liver tissue). In liver tissue, scarring is an accumulation of extracellular matrix components. Liver biopsy and its alternative evaluation methods are designed to assess the degree of extracellular matrix components present. Although the liver biopsy is the best standard approach for determining how much scarring is present in the liver, it has several flaws.
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