Background and aim: The aim of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of serum markers of liver fibrosis for predicting progression to acute-on-chronic liver failure (ACLF) in patients with acute exacerbation (AE) and severe AE (SAE) of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection.
Methods: The predictive accuracy of aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index (APRI), Fibrosis-4, Lok index, and Forns index for progression to ACLF was evaluated via receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve and area under the ROC (AUROC) in 441 and 130 patients with AE and SAE.
Results: After admission, 24 (5.8%) and 25 (19.2%) patients with AE and SAE, respectively, progressed to ACLF. The Lok index was one of the independent risk factors associated with progression to ACLF in patients with AE and SAE. The AUROC of Lok index for diagnosing liver cirrhosis was 0.815 (0.774-0.851) in patients with AE and 0.715 (0.629-0.791) in patients with SAE. The AUROC of Lok index for predicting progression to ACLF in patients with AE and SAE was 0.756 (0.711-0.797) and 0.866 (0.795-0.919), respectively. In patients with AE and SAE, the cut-off values of the Lok index for predicting ACLF were higher and lower, respectively, than those for diagnosing liver cirrhosis.
Conclusion: The Lok index has predictive accuracy regarding progression to ACLF in patients with AE and SAE. Different thresholds of liver fibrosis are needed for determining progression to ACLF in patients with different severity of liver injury during acute exacerbation of chronic HBV infection.
Keywords: Acute exacerbation; Acute-on-chronic liver failure; Hepatitis B virus; Liver fibrosis.
© 2021. Asian Pacific Association for the Study of the Liver.