Enhanced liver fibrosis score predicts transplant-free survival in primary sclerosing cholangitis

Hepatology. 2015 Jul;62(1):188-97. doi: 10.1002/hep.27825. Epub 2015 Apr 28.


There is a need to determine biomarkers reflecting disease activity and prognosis in primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC). We evaluated the prognostic utility of the enhanced liver fibrosis (ELF) score in Norwegian PSC patients. Serum samples were available from 305 well-characterized large-duct PSC patients, 96 ulcerative colitis patients, and 100 healthy controls. The PSC patients constituted a derivation panel (recruited 1992-2006 [n = 167]; median age 41 years, 74% male) and a validation panel (recruited 2008-2012 [n = 138]; median age 40 years, 78% male). We used commercial kits to analyze serum levels of hyaluronic acid, tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases-1, and propeptide of type III procollagen and calculated ELF scores by the previously published algorithm. Results were also validated by analysis of ELF tests using the ADVIA Centaur XP system and its commercially available reagents. We found that PSC patients stratified by ELF score tertiles exhibited significantly different transplant-free survival in both panels (P < 0.001), with higher scores associated with shorter survival, which was confirmed in the validation panel stratified by ELF test tertiles (P = 0.003). The ELF test distinguished between mild and severe disease defined by clinical outcome (transplantation or death) with an area under the curve of 0.81 (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.73-0.87) and optimal cutoff of 10.6 (sensitivity 70.2%, specificity 79.1%). In multivariate Cox regression analysis in both panels, ELF score (hazard ratio = 1.9, 95% CI 1.4-2.5, and 1.5, 95% CI 1.1-2.1, respectively) was associated with transplant-free survival independently of the Mayo risk score (hazard ratio = 1.3, 95% CI 1.1-1.6, and 1.6, 95% CI 1.2-2.1, respectively). The ELF test correlated with ultrasound elastography in separate assessments.

Conclusion: The ELF score is a potent prognostic marker in PSC, independent of the Mayo risk score.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Case-Control Studies
  • Cholangitis, Sclerosing / mortality*
  • Cholangitis, Sclerosing / pathology
  • Female
  • Fibrosis
  • Humans
  • Liver / pathology*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Norway / epidemiology
  • Severity of Illness Index