Dear colleagues and friends,
It is an honour for us to welcome you to the 8th Adriatic Liver Forum (ALF), a traditional regional monothematic conference about the liver diseases. The main topic of this year's ALF is Rare liver diseases, and the conference is co-organized by the Croatian Society of Gastroenterology, University Hospital Dubrava Zagreb and University Hospital Centre Zagreb, both of which are affiliated partners of the European Reference Network for rare liver diseases (ERN RARE-LIVER). The conference is organized in the hybrid form, with on-site programme taking place in Zagreb, Croatia, whereas on-line broadcasting will be provided throughout the entire duration of the conference. Why rare liver diseases have been chosen as the topic for this occasion? According to the definition issued by the European Commission, diseases with the prevalence below one in 2.000 people are considered rare. Worldwide it accounts for about 7.000 diseases which affect at least 400 million people. Around 25% of patients will die within 5 years from diagnosis, and some 30% will live throughout adulthood or experience first signs of the disease as adults. The prevalence of some of them depend at least on geolocation, and thus the diseases we consider the same are somewhere rare but elsewhere not. Diagnosis and treatment of rare liver disease is challenging, but there are promising improvements. For all these reasons we believe that is of utmost importance that knowledge about rare liver diseases should be brought to closer attention of the practicing physicians and researchers in the field. By this conference we would like to join the global community in celebrating the Rare Disease Day, which is observed every year on 28 February (or 29 in leap years-the rarest day of the year). We are proud to announce that this conference is endorsed by ERN RARE-LIVER and Central European Hepatologic Collaboration, and we are grateful for their support and commitment to the common aims. We would also like to express our gratitude to our sponsors who have recognized the importance of this conference and the current topic. We hope to meet the expectations of our audience and shed more light over these rare, but devastating diseases, as well as to encourage scientific research and clinical collaboration between the institutions in Adriatic and Central European region.
We look forward to meeting you in Zagreb.
With kind regards,
On behalf of the 8th ALF Organizing Committe
Ivica Grgurevic and Jurica Vukovic