Chronic liver diseases represent a burgeoning health problem affecting billions of people worldwide. The insufficient performance of current minimally invasive tools is recognised as a significant barrier to the clinical management of these conditions. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) have emerged as a rich source of circulating biomarkers closely linked to pathological processes in originating tissues. Here, we summarise the contribution of EVs to normal liver function and to chronic liver pathologies; and explore the use of circulating EV biomarkers, with a particular focus on techniques to isolate and analyse cell- or tissue-specific EVs. Such approaches present a novel strategy to inform disease status and monitor changes in response to treatment in a minimally invasive manner. Emerging technologies that support the selective isolation and analysis of circulating EVs derived only from hepatic cells, have driven recent advancements in EV-based biomarker platforms for chronic liver diseases and show promise to bring these techniques to clinical settings.
- Chronic liver disease
- Extracellular vesicles
- Metabolic-associated fatty liver disease
- Minimally invasive biomarkers
- Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease
- Tissue-specific biomarkers