Non-invasive evaluation of liver fibrosis in chronic hepatitis C

Rev Med Chir Soc Med Nat Iasi. 2012 Jan-Mar;116(1):135-8.


Chronic hepatitis C (CHC) is a major public health concern, with around 180 million individuals affected worldwide. Liver fibrosis and its end-point cirrhosis are the main causes of morbidity and mortality in patients with CHC. Liver biopsy (LB) has traditionally been considered the "gold standard" for pre-treatment evaluation of liver fibrossis in patients with CHC. However, LB is an invasive procedure with several shortcomings (intra- and interobserver variability, sampling errors, expensive) and the risk of rare but potentially life-threatening complications (biliary peritonitis, hemo-peritoneum, and death in 1/10,000). The aforementioned shortcomings of LB have led to development of several non-invasive methods for the assessment of liver fibrosis in CHC. Among the non-invasive methods, Fibrotest and Fibroscan are the most widely used in our country and offer a viable alternative to LB for pre-treatment assessment of liver fibrosis in patients with CHC. This review aims to discuss the advantages and usefulness of non-invasive methods of liver fibrosis in CHC.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Elasticity Imaging Techniques*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / complications
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / diagnosis*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / mortality
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / pathology
  • Humans
  • Liver Cirrhosis / diagnosis*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / etiology
  • Liver Cirrhosis / mortality
  • Liver Cirrhosis / pathology
  • Predictive Value of Tests
  • Reproducibility of Results
  • Sensitivity and Specificity