Cryptogenic cirrhosis: Old and new perspectives in the era of molecular and genomic medicine.


Yale School of Medicine, Department of Anatomic Pathology, 20 York Street EP2-608B, New Haven, CT, USA. Electronic address: [Email]


Cryptogenic cirrhosis (CC) is defined as cirrhosis of unknown etiology despite extensive clinical, laboratory and pathologic work-up, and constitutes approximately 5-10% of all cirrhosis cases. Histologic examination can provide important clues and help identify the potential etiology of CC. Most CC cases can still be classified into four histologic patterns: hepatitic, steatotic, biliary, and patternless (bland). The use of genetic testing has significantly improved diagnostic ability and treatment, especially in pediatric patients with acute and chronic liver diseases. More recently, whole exome sequencing has been used for identifying genetic alterations that lead to a diagnosis in adults with liver disease of unknown etiology. Recent advances in genomic analysis has allowed the unraveling of the underlying etiology in a subset of CC cases, and also helped identify new disorders. Providing a diagnosis for these patients has several important implications for treatment, possible genetic counseling, and transplant eligibility. However, detailed clinical and histologic characterization of the patients still remains an important part of the CC work-up, since clinicopathologic and genomic correlation is crucial in making a diagnosis, or in some cases, discovery of a new entity. This article summarizes the main histologic findings that can be observed in CC cases, potential causes of CC, and recent advances in the field.


Cirrhosis,Cryptogenic,Next-generation sequencing,Whole exome sequencing,

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