Link to Pubmed [PMID] – 16997354
Hum. Pathol. 2006 Dec;37(12):1519-26
The aim of this study was to assess the reversibility of cirrhosis after therapy in a large series of patients with cirrhosis from various etiologies. We performed a retrospective study of 113 patients with biopsy-proven cirrhosis who underwent specific therapy and follow-up biopsies. Two pathologists performed blinded analyses of indirect biochemical and morphological signs of cirrhosis. Fourteen (12.4%) of the 113 cirrhotic patients had biopsy-proven disappearance of cirrhosis, defined as a decrease of 2 or greater in their METAVIR fibrosis score: 8 were related to hepatitis C virus, 3 to hepatitis B virus, and 3 to autoimmune cirrhosis. Necro-inflammatory activity decreased from 2.4 +/- 0.65 to 0.85 +/- 0.9 (P = .004), and fibrosis from 4 to 1.7 +/- 0.61 (P = .001). Prothrombin time (n = 1), platelet count (n = 2), serum albumin level (n = 2), and ultrasound abnormalities (n = 6) normalized in patients who had initial abnormalities. Hyaluronic acid and procollagen type III serum level decreased in all. In the 11 patients with regression of viral cirrhosis, 2 were nonresponders and 9 were responders, including 2 relapsers. The 3 patients with regressive autoimmune cirrhosis were complete responders to immunosupressive therapy. Using repeated liver biopsies, clinicobiochemical, radiologic, and endoscopic tests, we provide evidence for potential reversibility of cirrhosis after long-lasting suppression of the necro-inflammatory activity of liver disease.