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Pace of Progression by Grade
May 28, 2005

On a liver biopsy, how long does it usually take to progress from Grade I to Grade III? What is the difference between Grade and Stage?

Response from Dr. McGovern

Good question.

Grade refers to "necroinflammatory activity" - just hows many inflammatory cells are present; damage to the liver.

STage refers to "fibrosis" or scarring.

In my mind there can be a significant changes of grade that can occur quickly - depending on a binge of alcohol, exposure to a medication or herb that is toxic, or just progression of viral hepatitis which will take much longer - but no one knows exactly how long. It varies from individual to individual based on multiple factors.

Changes in stage usually occur over years but can be accelerated by other factors such as alcohol, fatty liver, or immunodeficiency.

Dr. McGovern



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