Background/aims: To assess prospectively the accuracy of transient elastography (TE, FibroScan) for the detection of cirrhosis and oesophageal varices (OV) in chronic hepatitis C (CHC), as compared with currently available non-invasive methods (AST/ALT ratio (AAR), APRI, prothrombin index (PI), platelet count (PC), FibroTest (FT) and Lok index).
Methods: All tests were performed the day of liver biopsy (LB), taken as reference, in 298 consecutive CHC patients (cirrhosis: 70; Child-Pugh A: 70; OV: 25).
Results: TE had the best diagnostic accuracy for detection of cirrhosis (AUROCs: TE 0.96 vs. FT 0.82, Lok and APRI 0.80, PC 0.79, PI 0.73, AAR 0.61, respectively; p < 0.0001). Overall, the percentage of saved LB was: TE (cut-off: 12.5 kPa) 90%, PC 82%, FT 79%, PI 77%, AAR 76%, APRI 70%, and Lok 45%, respectively. At a cut-off of 21.5 kPa, TE predicted the presence of OV with 76% sensitivity and 78% specificity and correctly classified 73% of patients vs. AAR 81%, Lok 77%, FT, PI 70%, PC 69%, and APRI 66%, respectively.
Conclusions: TE is currently the most accurate non-invasive method for early detection of cirrhosis in CHC (cut-off: 12.5 kPa), as compared with other available methods, but cannot replace endoscopy for OV screening.