Digital liver biopsy: Bio-imaging of fatty liver for translational and clinical research

Marcello Mancini, Paul Summers, Francesco Faita, Maurizia R. Brunetto, Francesco Callea, Andrea De Nicola, Nicole Di Lascio, Fabio Farinati, Amalia Gastaldelli, Bruno Gridelli, Peppino Mirabelli, Emanuele Neri, Piero A. Salvadori, Eleni Rebelos, Claudio Tiribelli, Luca Valenti, Marco Salvatore, Ferruccio Bonino

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


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.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-245
Number of pages15
JournalWorld Journal of Hepatology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1 2018


  • Bio-imaging
  • Biobank
  • Fatty liver
  • Genomics
  • Liver biopsy
  • Liver cancer
  • Magnetic resonance
  • Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
  • Non-alcoholic steatohepatitis
  • Radiomics
  • Ultrasound

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology


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