Non-invasive assessment of liver fibrosis by stiffness measurement in patients with chronic hepatitis B

Liver Int. 2009 Feb;29(2):242-7. doi: 10.1111/j.1478-3231.2008.01802.x. Epub 2008 Jul 9.


Background: The need for new non-invasive tools to assess liver fibrosis in chronic liver diseases has been largely advocated. Liver stiffness measurement (LSM) using transient elastography (FibroScan), Echosens) has been shown to be correlated to liver fibrosis in various chronic liver diseases. This study aims to assess its diagnosis accuracy in patients with chronic hepatitis B.

Patients and methods: We prospectively enrolled 202 patients with chronic hepatitis B in a multicentre study. Patients underwent liver biopsy (LB) and LSM. METAVIR and Ishak liver fibrosis stages were assessed by two pathologists.

Results: LSM or LB was considered unreliable in 29 patients. Statistical analysis was conducted in 173 patients. LSM was significantly (P<0.001) correlated with METAVIR (r=0.65) and Ishak fibrosis stage (0.65). The area under receiver-operating characteristic curves were 0.81 (95% confidence intervals, 0.73-0.86) for F>/=2, 0.93 (0.88-0.96) for F>/=3 and 0.93 (0.82-0.98) for F=4. Optimal LSM cut-off values were 7.2 and 11.0 kPa for F>/=2 and F=4, respectively, by maximizing the sum D of sensitivity and specificity, and 7.2 and 18.2 kPa by maximizing the diagnosis accuracy.

Conclusion: In conclusion, LSM appears to be reliable for detection of significant fibrosis or cirrhosis in HBV patients and cut-off values are only slightly different from those observed in HCV patients.

Publication types

  • Evaluation Study
  • Multicenter Study

MeSH terms

  • Elasticity Imaging Techniques / methods
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / complications*
  • Humans
  • Liver / pathology*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / diagnosis*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / etiology
  • Prospective Studies