1Barts Liver Centre, Blizard Institute, Barts and The London School of Medicine and Dentistry, Queen Mary University of London, London, UK.
2Department of Medicine, Queen Mary Hospital, School of Clinical Medicine, The University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, Hong Kong.
Hepatitis D virus (HDV) causes one of the most severe forms of hepatitis in people with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) infection. Timely and accurate assessment of hepatitis delta virus (HDV) and disease stratification is mandatory for thorough pre-therapeutic evaluation for prioritizing treatment and outcome prediction. Viral biomarkers associated with HDV and hepatitis B virus (HBV) are crucial to aid in diagnosis, and monitoring of serum viral nucleic acids for both viruses is recommended. Liver biopsy remains the gold standard for staging of liver fibrosis and grading of histological activity and should remain central for diagnostic purposes, but is also of importance for research to enhance our understanding of HDV. The emergence of novel non-invasive tests for the assessment of liver fibrosis in HDV patients coupled with the well-recognized potential complications of liver biopsy has resulted in reduced utility of liver biopsy in clinical practice. Preliminary data suggest that these emerging non-invasive modalities appear to be reliable, and their use is supported, similar to other viral hepatitis. Nevertheless, further validation is required before their widespread adoption into clinical practice.