Hepatic fibrosis is the response to chronic hepatic injury resulting from various factors, such as alcohol abuse, viral infection, or cholestasis, and is characterised by the excessive production and deposition of extracellular matrix (ECM) due to loss of liver cells during hepatitis. Importantly, hepatic fibrosis can progress to cirrhosis. In Japan, cirrhosis is mainly caused by hepatitis virus, with hepatitis C virus accounting for 70% of cases and hepatitis B virus accounting for 20% of cases, as reported by the National Center for Global Health and Medicine (Chiba, Japan). Persistent infection in hepatitis virus results in progression to chronic hepatitis, cirrhosis, and hepatocellular carcinoma by 20–30 years after infection, without a history of noticeable symptoms reported by patients. Therefore, development of sensitive diagnostic methods to visualise and monitor hepatic fibrosis is needed. Read more.