[Biomarkers for liver fibrosis: advances, advantages and disadvantages]

Rev Gastroenterol Mex. 2014 Jul-Sep;79(3):187-99. doi: 10.1016/j.rgmx.2014.05.003. Epub 2014 Jun 20.
[Article in Spanish]


Liver cirrhosis in Mexico is one of the most important causes of death in persons between the ages of 25 and 50 years. One of the reasons for therapeutic failure is the lack of knowledge about the molecular mechanisms that cause liver disorder and make it irreversible. One of its prevalent anatomical characteristics is an excessive deposition of fibrous tissue that takes different forms depending on etiology and disease stage. Liver biopsy, traditionally regarded as the gold standard of fibrosis staging, has been brought into question over the past decade, resulting in the proposal for developing non-invasive technologies based on different, but complementary, approaches: a biological one that takes the serum levels of products arising from the fibrosis into account, and a more physical one that evaluates scarring of the liver by methods such as ultrasound and magnetic resonance elastography; some of the methods were originally studied and validated in patients with hepatitis C. There is great interest in determining non-invasive markers for the diagnosis of liver fibrosis, since at present there is no panel or parameter efficient and reliable enough for diagnostic use. In this paper, we describe the biomarkers that are currently being used for studying liver fibrosis in humans, their advantages and disadvantages, as well as the implementation of new-generation technologies and the evaluation of their possible use in the diagnosis of fibrosis.

Keywords: Biomarcadores para fibrosis; Biopsia hepática; Cirrosis hepática; Elastografía; Elastography; FibroScan; Fibrosis biomarkers; Fibrotest; Liver biopsy; Liver cirrhosis.

Publication types

  • English Abstract
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Biomarkers / blood
  • Biopsy
  • Elasticity Imaging Techniques
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / blood
  • Liver Cirrhosis / diagnosis*
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging


  • Biomarkers