Background: Liver stiffness and non-invasive tests predict overall survival in chronic hepatitis C. However, in patients chronically infected with hepatitis B virus (HBV), only the association between liver stiffness and the risk of hepatocellular carcinoma has been published.
Aim: To evaluate the 5-year prognostic value of liver stiffness, non-invasive tests of liver fibrosis, and liver biopsy, to predict overall survival in chronic hepatitis B.
Methods: In a consecutive cohort, we prospectively assessed fibrosis, with liver stiffness, FibroTest, APRI, FIB-4 and liver biopsy (if indicated). We examined death and liver transplantation during a 5-year follow-up, and factors associated with overall survival.
Results: A total of 600 patients (men 64%, mean age 42 years, inactive carriers 36%) with chronic hepatitis B were included. At 5 years, 25 patients were dead (13 liver-related deaths) and four patients had liver transplantation. Overall survival was 94.1% and survival without liver-related death 96.3%. No liver-related death was observed in inactive carriers. Survival was significantly decreased in patients diagnosed with severe fibrosis, whatever the non-invasive method used (P < 0.0001), or liver biopsy (P = 0.02). Patients' prognosis decreased as liver stiffness and FibroTest increased. In multivariate analysis, FibroTest and liver stiffness had the highest hazard ratio with survival. The association persisted after adjustment on age, necro-inflammatory histological activity presumed by ActiTest and treatment.
Conclusions: Liver stiffness measurement or FibroTest can predict survival in chronic HBV infection. Thus, these tools may help physicians to early assess prognosis and discuss specific treatments, such as liver transplantation.
© 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.