Diagnosis and quantitation of fibrosis

Gastroenterology. 2008 May;134(6):1670-81. doi: 10.1053/j.gastro.2008.03.001.


Hepatic fibrosis is the final common pathway for many different liver insults. Originally considered to be irreversible, hepatic fibrosis is now known to be a dynamic process with a significant potential for resolution. The diagnosis and quantitation of fibrosis have traditionally relied on liver biopsy. However, there are a number of drawbacks including the invasive nature of the procedure, sampling error, and interobserver variability. This article reviews the current role of liver biopsy in the assessment of hepatic fibrosis and discusses the role of the newer noninvasive methods including serum markers and radiologic tests.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Biopsy, Needle
  • Diagnostic Imaging
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / diagnosis*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / metabolism
  • Liver Cirrhosis / physiopathology
  • Liver Function Tests
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Serologic Tests
  • Severity of Illness Index


  • Biomarkers