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Towards better diagnostic tools for liver injury in low-income and middle-income countries
  1. Saundria Moed1,
  2. Muhammad H Zaman1,2
  1. 1 Department of Biomedical Engineering, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  2. 2 Howard Hughes Medical Institute, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  1. Correspondence to Professor Muhammad H Zaman; zaman{at}bu.edu

Abstract

Liver disease is a significant public health burden in both high-income and low-income countries, accounting for over 2 million annual, global deaths. Despite the significant mortality burden, liver diseases are historically a neglected problem due to a lack of accurate incidence and prevalence statistics, as well as national and international programmes targeting these diseases. A large portion of deaths due to liver diseases can be treated (eg, chronic hepatitis B), cured (eg, chronic hepatitis C) or prevented (eg, acute liver failure due to medications) if prompt diagnosis is made, but currently diagnostic methods fall short. Therefore, there is a critical need to fund the development of prompt, effective diagnostics for liver function, specifically in low-income and middle-income countries where the landscape for this testing is sparse. Here, we review and compare available and currently emerging diagnostic methods for liver injury in low-income and middle-income settings, while highlighting the opportunities and challenges that exist in the field.

  • low- and middle- income countries
  • point-of-care diagnosis
  • liver disease
  • drug induced liver injury
  • alanine-aminotransferase

This is an open access article distributed in accordance with the Creative Commons Attribution Non Commercial (CC BY-NC 4.0) license, which permits others to distribute, remix, adapt, build upon this work non-commercially, and license their derivative works on different terms, provided the original work is properly cited, appropriate credit is given, any changes made indicated, and the use is non-commercial. See: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/4.0/.

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Footnotes

  • Handling editor Seye Abimbola

  • Contributors SM engaged in researching and writing the original draft, including creation of visuals. MHZ was responsible for project administration, supervision, and reviewing and editing of the manuscript.

  • Funding This research and programme was supported in part by a grant to MHZ at Boston University from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute Science Education Program.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement No additional data are available.

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