Background & aims: We compared 5 non-specific and 2 specific blood tests for liver fibrosis in HCV/HIV co-infection.
Methods: Four hundred and sixty-seven patients were included into derivation (n=183) or validation (n=284) populations. Within these populations, the diagnostic target, significant fibrosis (Metavir F > or = 2), was found in 66% and 72% of the patients, respectively. Two new fibrosis tests, FibroMeter HICV and HICV test, were constructed in the derivation population.
Results: Unadjusted AUROCs in the derivation population were: APRI: 0.716, Fib-4: 0.722, Fibrotest: 0.778, Hepascore: 0.779, FibroMeter: 0.783, HICV test: 0.822, FibroMeter HICV: 0.828. AUROCs adjusted on classification and distribution of fibrosis stages in a reference population showed similar values in both populations. FibroMeter, FibroMeter HICV and HICV test had the highest correct classification rates in F0/1 and F3/4 (which account for high predictive values): 77-79% vs. 70-72% in the other tests (p=0.002). Reliable individual diagnosis based on predictive values > or = 90% distinguished three test categories: poorly reliable: Fib-4 (2.4% of patients), APRI (8.9%); moderately reliable: Fibrotest (25.4%), FibroMeter (26.6%), Hepascore (30.2%); acceptably reliable: HICV test (40.2%), FibroMeter HICV (45.6%) (p<10(-3) between tests). FibroMeter HICV classified all patients into four reliable diagnosis intervals (< or =F1, F1+/-1, > or =F1, > or =F2) with an overall accuracy of 93% vs. 79% (p<10(-3)) for a binary diagnosis of significant fibrosis.
Conclusions: Tests designed for HCV infections are less effective in HIV/HCV infections. A specific test, like FibroMeter HICV, was the most interesting test for diagnostic accuracy, correct classification profile, and a reliable diagnosis. With reliable diagnosis intervals, liver biopsy can therefore be avoided in all patients.
Copyright 2010 European Association for the Study of the Liver. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.