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Clin Res Hepatol Gastroenterol. 2011 Jun;35 Suppl 1:S3-9. doi: 10.1016/S2210-7401(11)70002-X.

Liver fibrogenesis and genetic factors.

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Service d'Hépato-Gastroentérologie, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire d'Angers et Laboratoire HIFIH, UPRES 3859, IFR 132, 4 rue Larrey 49933 Angers Cedex 9, France.


Chronic liver diseases lead to the accumulation of fibrosis in the liver with eventual progression to cirrhosis and its complications. However, there is a wide range of inter-individual variation in the liver fibrogenesis process, thus posing a challenge to physicians to identify patients with poor prognosis. As demographic and environmental factors only account for a small portion of fibrogenesis variability, host genetic factors have been suggested as playing an important role. Due to technical limitations, the first genetic studies were restricted to the evaluation of candidate genes having a known or supposed function in liver fibrogenesis. Recently, technological improvements have made it possible to study the whole human genome in a single scan. Genome-wide association studies have considerably heightened the interest in genetics as part of the study of liver fibrogenesis through their identification of previously unsuspected genes that are statistically associated with liver fibrosis. It is thus possible to determine new diagnostic or prognostic genetic markers for the management of patients with chronic liver diseases. Moreover, functional analyses of these genes may provide new insights into the pathophysiology of liver fibrogenesis.

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