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Antifibrotics in liver disease: are we getting closer to clinical use?

  • Meena B. Bansal
  • Naichaya Chamroonkul
Review Article

Abstract

The process of wound healing in response to chronic liver injury leads to the development of liver fibrosis. Regardless of etiology, the profound impact of the degree of liver fibrosis on the prognosis of chronic liver diseases has been well demonstrated. While disease-specific therapy, such as treatments for viral hepatitis, has been shown to reverse liver fibrosis and cirrhosis in both clinical trials and real-life practice, subsets of patients do not demonstrate fibrosis regression. Moreover, where disease-specific therapies are not available, the need for antifibrotics exists. Increased understanding into the pathogenesis of liver fibrosis sets the stage to focus on antifibrotic therapies attempting to: (1) Minimize liver injury and inflammation; (2) Inhibit liver fibrogenesis by enhancing or inhibiting target receptor–ligand interactions or intracellular signaling pathways; and (3) Promote fibrosis resolution. While no antifibrotic therapies are currently available, a number are now being evaluated in clinical trials, and their use is becoming closer to reality for select subsets of patients.

Keywords

Antifibrotic agents Liver fibrosis Pathogenesis 

Notes

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

Dr. Meena B. Bansal and Dr. Naichaya Chamroonkul have no potential conflict of interest.

Research involving human participants and/or animals

This review article is not a part of any research that involves human participants and/or animals.

Informed consent

There is no informed consent needed in this review.

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Copyright information

© Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Division of Liver DiseasesIcahn School of Medicine at Mount SinaiNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Department of Internal Medicine, Faculty of MedicinePrince of Songkla UniversityHatyaiThailand

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