Published online May 28, 2014. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v20.i20.6287
Revised: February 11, 2014
Accepted: March 5, 2014
Published online: May 28, 2014
Core tip: The pathogenesis of liver cirrhosis is not completely elucidated. Genetic predisposition may contribute to the development of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Evidence supporting the role of genetic factors as a risk for cirrhosis and the concept of telomere shortening as a genetic risk factor for chronic liver disease and HCC has been proposed. Here we review the literature on telomerase mutations, telomere shortening and liver disease including hepatocellular carcinoma.