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Hepatol Res. 2011 Mar;41(3):199-208. doi: 10.1111/j.1872-034X.2011.00776.x.

Evolution of hepatic fibrosis research.

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Department of Hepatology, Graduate School of Medicine, Osaka City University, Osaka, Japan.


Molecular analysis of hepatic fibrogenesis has progressed with respect to both fibrosis progression and regression by using cell biological, molecular biological and (epi)genetic approaches. Recent researches have revealed sources of collagen-producing cells other than hepatic stellate cells in the liver, and the involvement of the innate immune system and oxidative stress in the fibrotic process has attracted new attention. Together with these advancements in basic knowledge on the cellular and molecular biology of hepatic fibrosis, clinical researches have linked the clarification of the relationship between progression of the fibrosis stage and therapeutic efficacy for chronic viral hepatitis and non-alcoholic steatohepatitis and validation of the regression of advanced fibrosis, even cirrhosis, of appropriate therapies using modern medicines. Furthermore, non-invasive assessment of liver fibrosis using an ultrasound-based modality has become a focus in the clinical diagnosis of liver fibrosis instead of liver biopsy. Taken together, liver fibrosis research has been evolving both basically and clinically in the past three decades.

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