Cholestasis and Fibrogenesis
The precise relationship between cholestasis, in its broad meaning, and liver tissue fibrosis is still poorly defined. The aim of this chapter is to identify and discuss the factors that may associate these general phenomena. For reasons of clarity, we will focus on clinical and experimental entities in which cholestasis represents the primary event, and we will not consider cholestasis as a parallel phenomenon occurring in the presence of acute or chronic hepatocyte damage due to viral infection or ethanol intoxication. Although the mechanistic aspects of the relationships between cholestasis and liver fibrosis are still speculative, it is already evident that, in the absence of an etiologic target, therapy of cholestatic syndromes should also be aimed at reducing fibrogenesis and inflammation.