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J Hepatol. 2012 May;56(5):1171-80. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2011.09.024. Epub 2012 Jan 13.

Clinical evidence for the regression of liver fibrosis.

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Institute of Cellular Medicine, Newcastle University, Newcastle upon Tyne, UK.

Erratum in

  • J Hepatol. 2014 Feb;60(2):468-9.


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.

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