As the result of various effects (viruses, metabolic diseases, nutritional factors, toxic agents, autoimmune processes) abnormal liver function, liver steatosis and connective tissue remodeling may develop. Progression of this process is complex including various pathways and a number of factors. The authors summarize the factors involved in the progression of chronic liver disease. They describe the role of cells and the produced inflammatory mediators and cytokines, as well as the relationship between the disease and the intestinal flora. They emphasize the role of oxidative stress, mitochondrial dysfunction and cell death in disease progression. Insulin resistance and micro-elements (iron, copper) in relation to liver damage are also discussed, and genetic and epigenetic aspects underlying disease progression are summarized. Discovery of novel treatment options, assessment of the effectiveness of treatment, as well as the success and proper timing of liver transplantation may depend on a better understanding of the process of disease progression.
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