Liver cirrhosis is the final stage of all chronic liver diseases. This special issue of Disease Markers explores the importance of diagnostic tools and the role of different prognostic markers in the different stages and clinical complications of liver cirrhosis. The current knowledge is reviewed in eight chapters by eight selected invited groups of experts in the field.
The subjects covered include: the clinical use of HVPG measurements, which examines the prognostic importance of portal hypertension in liver cirrhosis; non-invasive methods currently used in clinical practice for the diagnosis of liver cirrhosis and portal hypertension and an overview of the influence of the presence of ascites, hyponatremia and hepatorenal syndrome in the prognosis of liver cirrhosis. Aspects of variceal bleeding are covered in three chapters: diagnostic tools and prognostic markers in cirrhotic patients who have not yet presented a variceal bleeding; prognosis and prognostic factors of acute variceal bleeding, and lastly, prognostic markers in patients who have recovered from acute variceal bleeding. There is also a chapter dealing with prognostic assessment in patients with hepatic encephalopathy, a common complication of liver failure associated with poor prognosis. The final article provides an overview of the current situation and future perspectives for the integration of molecular data into clinical management of hepatocellular carcinoma.
This extensive review of the subject will be of interest to all those involved in the diagnosis and treatment of liver disease.