Beyond “Cirrhosis”: A Proposal From the International Liver Pathology Study Group

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“Cirrhosis” is a morphologic term that has been used for almost 200 years to denote the end stage of a variety of chronic liver diseases. The term implies a condition with adverse prognosis due to the well-known complications of portal hypertension, hepatocellular carcinoma, and liver failure. However, recent advances in the diagnosis and treatment of chronic liver diseases have changed the natural history of cirrhosis significantly. This consensus document by the International Liver Pathology Study Group challenges the usefulness of the word cirrhosis in modern medicine and suggests that this is an appropriate time to consider discontinuing the use of this term. The role of pathologists should evolve to the diagnosis of advanced stage of chronic liver disease, with emphasis on etiology, grade of activity, features suggestive of progression or regression, presence of other diseases, and risk factors for malignancy, within the perspective of an integrated clinicopathologic assessment.

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