Prospective evaluation of FibroTest®, FibroMeter®, and HepaScore® for staging liver fibrosis in chronic hepatitis B: comparison with hepatitis C

J Hepatol. 2014 Jul;61(1):28-34. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2014.02.029. Epub 2014 Mar 11.


Background & aims: Fibrosis blood tests have been validated in chronic hepatitis C. Their diagnostic accuracy is less documented in hepatitis B. The aim of this study was to describe the diagnostic performance of FibroTest®, FibroMeter®, and HepaScore® for liver fibrosis in hepatitis B compared to hepatitis C.

Methods: 510 patients mono-infected with hepatitis B or C and matched on fibrosis stage were included. Blood tests were performed the day of the liver biopsy. Histological lesions were staged according to METAVIR.

Results: Fibrosis stages were distributed as followed: F0 n=76, F1 n=192, F2 n=132, F3 n=54, F4 n=56. Overall diagnostic performance of blood tests were similar between hepatitis B and C with AUROC ranging from 0.75 to 0.84 for significant fibrosis, 0.82 to 0.85 for extensive fibrosis and 0.84 to 0.87 for cirrhosis. Optimal cut-offs were consistently lower in hepatitis B compared to hepatitis C, especially for the diagnosis of extensive fibrosis and cirrhosis, with decreased sensitivity and negative predictive values. More hepatitis B than C patients with F ⩾3 were underestimated: FibroTest®: 47% vs. 26%, FibroMeter®: 24% vs. 6%, HepaScore®: 41% vs. 24%, p<0.01. Multivariate analysis showed that hepatitis B (0R 3.4, 95% CI 1.2-19.2, p<0.02) and low γGT (OR 7.3, 95% CI 2.0-27.0, p<0.003) were associated with fibrosis underestimation.

Conclusion: Overall the diagnostic performance of blood tests is similar in hepatitis B and C. The risk of underestimating significant fibrosis and cirrhosis is however greater in hepatitis B and cannot be entirely corrected by the use of more stringent cut-offs.

Keywords: Blood tests; Cirrhosis; Diagnostic performance; Fibrosis; Non-invasive diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Evaluation Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Alanine Transaminase / blood
  • Female
  • Hematologic Tests / methods
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / blood*
  • Hepatitis B, Chronic / pathology*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / blood*
  • Hepatitis C, Chronic / pathology*
  • Humans
  • Liver / pathology
  • Liver Cirrhosis / blood*
  • Liver Cirrhosis / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Prospective Studies
  • gamma-Glutamyltransferase / blood


  • gamma-Glutamyltransferase
  • Alanine Transaminase