Two or more synchronous combination of noninvasive tests to increase accuracy of liver fibrosis assessement in chronic hepatitis C; results from a cohort of 446 patients

Hepat Mon. 2012 Mar;12(3):177-84. doi: 10.5812/hepatmon.853. Epub 2012 Mar 28.


Background: The prediction of fibrosis is an essential part of the assessment and management of patients with chronic liver disease. Non-invasive tests (NITs) have a number of advantages over the traditional standard of fibrosis assessment by liver biopsy, including safety, cost-effectiveness, and widespread accessibility.

Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the accuracy of certain biomarkers and transient elastography (TE) alone or in combination to predict the stage of liver fibrosis in chronic hepatitis C (CHC). Also, we examined whether the combination of certain biomarkers and TE could increase the diagnostic accuracy of liver fibrosis assessment.

Patients and method: A total of 446 patients who were previously diagnosed with CHC were included in the study. In the study group, 6 blood-based scores (APRI, Forns, Fib-4, Hepascore, FibroTest, and Fibrometer) were calculated, and TE was performed to validate the stage of fibrosis, compared with liver biopsy (LB) as the standard.

Results: Significant fibrosis (F ≥ 2) was predicted with an AUROC of 0.727, 0.680, 0.714, 0.778, 0.688, 0.797, and 0.751 for the APRI, Forns, Fib-4, FibroTest, Hepascore, and Fibrometer scores and TE (Fibroscan), respectively. Severe fibrosis (F ≥ 3) was predicted, with AUROCs ranging between 0.705 and 0.811 for Hepascore and Fibrometer, respectively. Of the biomarkers, Fibrometer had the highest AUROC value in predicting both significant and severe fibrosis. The combination of APRI or FIB-4 with Fibrometer increased the diagnostic accuracy for significant fibrosis (from 69.07 to 82.27 for APRI, P = 0.001 and from 57.74 to 81.33, P = 0.001 for Fib-4). Combining APRI or Fib-4 with TE also increased the diagnostic accuracy (from 69.07 to 80.70%, P = 0.001 for APRI and from 57.74 to 81.33%, P = 0.001 for Fib-4) for significant fibrosis. The association that included Fibrotest was also reliable for the improvement of diagnostic accuracy. These combinations were more accurate or the assessment of severe fibrosis.

Conclusions: The synchronous association between a simple, inexpensive score and a complex but expensive score or TE increases the diagnostic accuracy of non-invasive methods for the assessment of liver fibrosis stage.

Keywords: Aminopyrine; Hepatitis C, Chronic; Liver Cirrhosis.