The aim of the present study was to investigate the diagnostic accuracy of Fibroscan for liver fibrosis in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) with alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels <2 times the upper normal limit. A total of 263 consecutive patients with CHB and ALT levels <2 times the upper normal limit were enrolled in the present study. Liver biopsies and liver stiffness measurements (LSM) were conducted. Receiver operating characteristic (ROC) analysis was used to determine the predictive ability of LSM for the development of liver fibrosis in patients with stage S1, S2 and S3 liver fibrosis. Bivariate Spearman rank correlation analysis was performed in order to determine the association between liver stiffness value, which was measured by Fibroscan, and liver fibrosis stage, which was measured by liver biopsy. The liver stiffness value was found to be positively correlated with the liver fibrosis stage (r=0.522, P<0.001) and necroinflammatory activity (r=0.461, P<0.001), which was measured by liver biopsy. The optimal cut-off value in the patients with stage S1, S2 and S3 liver fibrosis was 5.5, 8.0 and 10.95 kPa, respectively. The area under the ROC curve for the prediction of the development of liver fibrosis in these patients was 0.696, 0.911 and 0.923, respectively. The threshold of the optimal cut-off value exhibited a high sensitivity and specificity. The results of the present study suggested that Fibroscan may improve the sensitivity of the diagnosis of liver fibrosis in patients with CHB and ALT levels <2 times the upper normal limit, and that this sensitivity may increase with the progression of liver fibrosis.
Keywords: chronic hepatitis B; fibroscan; liver fibrosis; liver stiffness measurement.