The clinical importance of monitoring liver fibrosis lies in the morbidity and mortality of the chronic liver diseases in relation to the stage and progression of fibrosis. Whether the fibrosis stabilizes or regresses depends on the specific treatment. Liver biopsy, the current standard for the diagnosis, has implicit limitations due to sampling heterogeneity. There are noninvasive imaging methods, such as transient elastography that measures the stiffness of the liver, but it has some limitations (feasibility and unreliability), particularly in obese patients. FibroTest is the most widely used noninvasive serological method worldwide which is efficacious in the extreme stages of fibrosis, but these methods cannot discern intermediate stages. Liver fibrosis is a dynamic response that involves multiple cellular and molecular events with an excessive deposit of extracellular matrix. Even though there is much information on the pathophysiology of fibrosis, that knowledge is still incomplete, greatly hindering the development of both an accurate treatment and a noninvasive diagnostic method with adequate sensitivity for all the stages of fibrosis. It is known that IGFBP participates in liver homeostasis, and thus these proteins can be used as serum biomarkers during the progression of liver fibrosis in chronic hepatitis C.
Part of the book: Liver Cirrhosis