MicroRNAs in the Evaluation and Potential Treatment of Liver Diseases
Received: 20 February 2016 / Revised: 18 April 2016 / Accepted: 25 April 2016 / Published: 10 May 2016
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Acute and chronic liver disease continue to result in significant morbidity and mortality of patients, along with increasing burden on their families, society and the health care system. This in part is due to increased incidence of liver disease associated factors such as
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Acute and chronic liver disease continue to result in significant morbidity and mortality of patients, along with increasing burden on their families, society and the health care system. This in part is due to increased incidence of liver disease associated factors such as metabolic syndrome; improved survival of patients with chronic predisposing conditions such as HIV; as well as advances in the field of transplantation and associated care leading to improved survival. The fact that one disease can result in different manifestations and outcomes highlights the need for improved understanding of not just genetic phenomenon predisposing to a condition, but additionally the role of epigenetic and environmental factors leading to the phenotype of the disease. It is not surprising that providers continue to face daily challenges pertaining to diagnostic accuracy, prognostication of disease severity, progression, and response to therapies. A number of these challenges can be addressed by incorporating a personalized approach of management to the current paradigm of care. Recent advances in the fields of molecular biology and genetics have paved the way to more accurate, individualized and precise approach to caring for liver disease. The study of microRNAs and their role in both healthy and diseased livers is one example of such advances. As these small, non-coding RNAs work on fine-tuning of cellular activities and organ function in a dynamic and precise fashion, they provide us a golden opportunity to advance the field of hepatology. The study of microRNAs in liver disease promises tremendous improvement in hepatology and is likely to lay the foundation towards a personalized approach in liver disease.