Biomarkers for drug-induced liver injury

Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2010 Apr;4(2):225-34. doi: 10.1586/egh.10.8.


Of the estimated 10,000 documented human drugs, more than 1000 have been associated with drug-induced liver injury (DILI), although causality has not always been established clearly. Numerous biomarkers for DILI have been explored, but less than ten are adopted or qualified as valid by the US FDA. The biomarkers for DILI are individual or a panel of proteins, nucleic acids or metabolites from various sources, such as the liver, blood and urine. While most DILI biomarkers are drug independent, some possibly 'drug-specific' DILIs have been explored, but specificity and sensitivity of both types need to be improved for the diagnosis of DILI during drug development and in clinical practice. Novel approaches for DILI biomarkers have been actively investigated recently, but produced mainly animal-based biomarkers, which are possibly useful for drug development, but are not suitable or have not been validated for clinical applications. This review summarizes the current practice and future perspectives for DILI biomarkers.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / diagnosis*
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / genetics
  • Chemical and Drug Induced Liver Injury / metabolism*
  • Eosinophils
  • Genomics
  • Humans
  • Liver / enzymology*
  • Proteomics
  • Sensitivity and Specificity


  • Biomarkers