Liver fibrosis is a common pathway leading to cirrhosis, which is the final result of injury to the liver. Accurate assessment of the degree of fibrosis is important clinically, especially when treatments aimed at reversing fibrosis are being evolved. Liver biopsy has been considered to be the "gold standard" to assess fibrosis. However, liver biopsy being invasive and, in many instances, not favored by patients or physicians, alternative approaches to assess liver fibrosis have assumed great importance. Moreover, therapies aimed at reversing the liver fibrosis have also been tried lately with variable results. Till now, there has been no consensus on various clinical, pathological, and radiological aspects of liver fibrosis. The Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver set up a working party on liver fibrosis in 2007, with a mandate to develop consensus guidelines on various aspects of liver fibrosis relevant to disease patterns and clinical practice in the Asia-Pacific region. The process for the development of these consensus guidelines involved the following: Review of all available published literature by a core group of experts; proposal of consensus statements by the experts; discussion of the contentious issues; and unanimous approval of the consensus statements after discussion. The Oxford System of evidence-based approach was adopted for developing the consensus statements using the level of evidence from 1 (highest) to 5 (lowest) and grade of recommendation from A (strongest) to D (weakest). The consensus statements are presented in this review.
- Liver biopsy
- Noninvasive tools