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World J Gastroenterol. 2016 Aug 7;22(29):6663-72. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v22.i29.6663.

Noninvasive models for assessment of liver fibrosis in patients with chronic hepatitis B virus infection.

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Da-Wu Zeng, Jing Dong, Yu-Rui Liu, Jia-Ji Jiang, Yue-Yong Zhu, Liver Center, The First Affiliated Hospital, Fujian Medical University, Fuzhou 350005, Fujian Province, China.


There are approximately 240 million patients with chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection worldwide. Up to 40% of HBV-infected patients can progress to liver cirrhosis, hepatocellular carcinoma or chronic end-stage liver disease during their lifetime. This, in turn, is responsible for around 650000 deaths annually worldwide. Repeated hepatitis flares may increase the progression of liver fibrosis, making the accurate diagnosis of the stage of liver fibrosis critical in order to make antiviral therapeutic decisions for HBV-infected patients. Liver biopsy remains the "gold standard" for diagnosing liver fibrosis. However, this technique has recently been challenged by the development of several novel noninvasive tests to evaluate liver fibrosis, including serum markers, combined models and imaging techniques. In addition, the cost and accessibility of imaging techniques have been suggested as additional limitations for invasive assessment of liver fibrosis in developing countries. Therefore, a noninvasive assessment model has been suggested to evaluate liver fibrosis, specifically in HBV-infected patients, owing to its high applicability, inter-laboratory reproducibility, wide availability for repeated assays and reasonable cost. The current review aims to present the status of knowledge in this new and exciting field, and to highlight the key points in HBV-infected patients for clinicians.


Fibrosis; Hepatitis B; Liver biopsy; Noninvasive; Serum biomarkers

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