Alcohol induces a variety of changes in the liver: fatty change, hepatitis, fibrosis, and cirrhosis. The histopathological appearances of these conditions are discussed, with special attention to differential diagnosis. Many forms of alcoholic liver disease are associated with Mallory body formation and fibrosis. Mallory bodies are formed, at least in part, from intermediate filaments. Associated changes in intermediate filament organisation in alcoholic liver disease also occur. Their significance in the pathogenesis of hepatocyte death may be related to abnormalities in messenger RNA function. The mechanisms underlying hepatic fibrogenesis are also discussed.
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