Objectives: Extent of liver fibrosis is one of the most important factors in determining prognosis and the need for active treatment in chronic hepatitis B (CHB). Noninvasive alternatives such as FibroTest/Fibrosure (FT) have been developed in order to overcome the shortcomings of liver biopsy (LB). We aimed to systematically review studies describing the diagnostic accuracy of FT for predicting CHB-related fibrosis.
Methods: MEDLINE and EMBASE searches and hand searching methods were performed to identify studies that assessed the diagnostic accuracy of FibroTest in HB patients using LB as a reference standard. We used a hierarchical summary receiver operating curves model and the bivariate model to produce summary receiver operating characteristic curves and pooled estimates of sensitivity and specificity.
Results: We included 16 studies (N=2494) and 13 studies (N=1754) in the heterogenous meta-analysis for liver fibrosis and cirrhosis, respectively. The area under the hierarchical summary receiver operating curve for significant liver fibrosis and for all included studies was 0.84 (95% confidence interval (CI): 0.78-0.88). At the FT threshold of 0.48, the sensitivity, specificity, and diagnostic odds ratio (DOR) of FT for significant fibrosis were 61 (48-72%), 80 (72-86%), and 6.2% (3.3-11.9), respectively. The area under the hierarchical summary receiver operating curve for liver cirrhosis and for all included studies was 0.87 (95% CI: 0.85-0.90). At the FT threshold of 0.74, the sensitivity, specificity, and DOR of FT for cirrhosis were 62 (47-75%), 91 (88-93%), and 15.7% (8.6-28.8), respectively.
Conclusions: FibroTest is of value in exclusion of patients with CHB-related cirrhosis, but has suboptimal accuracy in the detection of significant fibrosis and cirrhosis. It is necessary to further improve the test or combine it with other noninvasive modalities in order to improve accuracy.