Published online Feb 27, 2018. doi: 10.4254/wjh.v10.i2.231
Peer-review started: December 27, 2017
First decision: January 15, 2018
Revised: January 27, 2018
Accepted: February 25, 2018
Article in press: February 25, 2018
Published online: February 27, 2018
The rapidly growing field of functional, molecular and structural bio-imaging is providing an extraordinary new opportunity to overcome the limits of invasive liver biopsy and introduce a “digital biopsy” for in vivo study of liver pathophysiology. To foster the application of bio-imaging in clinical and translational research, there is a need to standardize the methods of both acquisition and the storage of the bio-images of the liver. It can be hoped that the combination of digital, liquid and histologic liver biopsies will provide an innovative synergistic tri-dimensional approach to identifying new aetiologies, diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers and therapeutic targets for the optimization of personalized therapy of liver diseases and liver cancer. A group of experts of different disciplines (Special Interest Group for Personalized Hepatology of the Italian Association for the Study of the Liver, Institute for Biostructures and Bio-imaging of the National Research Council and Bio-banking and Biomolecular Resources Research Infrastructure) discussed criteria, methods and guidelines for facilitating the requisite application of data collection. This manuscript provides a multi-Author review of the issue with special focus on fatty liver.
Core tip: The manuscript provides an extended expert review on the issue of bio-imaging of the liver with special focus on fatty liver and the need for a new integrated approach to bio-banking.