Liver fibrosis is characterized by an abnormal hepatic accumulation of extracellular matrix (ECM) that results from both increased deposition and reduced degradation of collagen fibres. Fibrotic liver injury results in activation of the hepatic stellate cell (HSC). Surrogate markers are gradually being substituted for biomarkers that reflect the complex balance between synthesis and degradation of the extracellular matrix. Once the hepatic stellate cell is activated, the preceding matrix changes and recurrent injurious stimuli will perpetuate the activated state. The ECM directs cellular differentiation, migration, proliferation and fibrogenic activation or deactivation. The metabolism of the extracellular matrix is closely regulated by matrix metalloproteinases (MMP) and their specific tissue inhibitors (TIMP). Although liver biopsy combined with connective tissue stains has been a mainstay of diagnosis, there is a need for less invasive methods. These diagnostic markers should be considered in combination with liver function tests, ultrasonography and clinical manifestations. © 2008 Informa UK Ltd (Informa Healthcare, Taylor & Francis AS).
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D. M. Vasudevan and Das, S. K., “Genesis of hepatic fibrosis and its biochemical markers”, Scandinavian Journal of Clinical and Laboratory Investigation, vol. 68, pp. 260-269, 2008.