Background and aims: Noninvasive assessment of esophageal varices (EV) may improve the management of patients with cirrhosis and decrease both the medical and financial burden related to screening. In this multicenter, international study, our aim was to prospectively validate the use of the platelet count/spleen diameter ratio for the noninvasive diagnosis of EV.
Methods: A total of 218 cirrhotic patients underwent screening endoscopy for EV. Platelet count/spleen diameter ratio ((N/mm3)/mm) was assessed in all patients and its diagnostic accuracy was calculated. On the basis of previous results, a platelet count/spleen diameter ratio cutoff of 909 was applied to this population. The diagnostic accuracy of the platelet count/spleen diameter ratio was further evaluated for both severity and etiology of disease subgroups.
Results: Prevalence of EV was 54.1%. The platelet count/spleen diameter ratio had 86.0% (95% CI, 80.7-90.4%) diagnostic accuracy for EV, which was significantly greater as compared with either accuracy of platelet count alone (83.6%, 95% CI 78.0-88.3%, P= 0.038) or spleen diameter alone (80.2%, 95% CI 74.3-85.3%, P= 0.018). The 909 cutoff had 91.5% sensitivity (95% CI 85.0-95.9%), 67.0% specificity (95% CI 56.9-76.1%), 76.6% positive predictive value, 87.0% negative predictive value, 2.77 positive likelihood ratio, and 0.13 negative likelihood ratio for the diagnosis of EV. Accuracy of the platelet count/spleen diameter ratio was maintained for both severity and etiology of disease subgroups.
Conclusions: The platelet count/spleen diameter ratio may be proposed as a safe and reproducible means to improve the management of cirrhotic patients who should undergo screening endoscopy for EV.