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.
- Antifibrotic agents
- Liver fibrosis