Published online Jan 14, 2015. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v21.i2.379
Peer-review started: October 9, 2014
First decision: October 29, 2014
Revised: November 4, 2014
Accepted: December 1, 2014
Article in press: December 21, 2014
Published online: January 14, 2015
Core tip: Common risk factors leading to chronic liver injury can be identified in most patients with cirrhosis, but approximately 5% of patients have no apparent risk factors. Understanding the pathogenesis of cirrhosis formation is essential to develop new diagnostic and therapeutic tools and for its prevention. The identification of genetic risk factors associated with cirrhosis is one of the possible way to approach this issue. Evidence supporting the role of genetic risk factors has been accumulating during the past years and recently it has been also suggested that telomere shortening may represent a genetic risk factor.