Densification: Hyaluronan Aggregation in Different Human Organs

Antonio Stecco, Mary Cowman, Nina Pirri, Preeti Raghavan, Carmelo Pirri

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review


Hyaluronan (HA) has complex biological roles that have catalyzed clinical interest in sev-eral fields of medicine. In this narrative review, we provide an overview of HA aggregation, also called densification, in human organs. The literature suggests that HA aggregation can occur in the liver, eye, lung, kidney, blood vessel, muscle, fascia, skin, pancreatic cancer and malignant mela-noma. In all these organs, aggregation of HA leads to an increase in extracellular matrix viscosity, causing stiffness and organ dysfunction. Fibrosis, in some of these organs, may also occur as a direct consequence of densification in the long term. Specific imaging evaluation, such dynamic ultraso-nography, elasto-sonography, elasto-MRI and T1ρ MRI can permit early diagnosis to enable the clinician to organize the treatment plan and avoid further progression of the pathology and dys-function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number159
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2022


  • aggregation
  • blood vessels
  • densification
  • eye
  • fascia
  • hyaluronan
  • kidney
  • liver
  • lung
  • muscle
  • skin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering


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