Biomarkers for the diagnosis and post-Kasai portoenterostomy prognosis of biliary atresia: a systematic review and meta-analysis

Sci Rep. 2021 Jun 3;11(1):11692. doi: 10.1038/s41598-021-91072-y.


To evaluate the accuracy of biomarkers for the early diagnosis of biliary atresia (BA) and prognostic stratification after Kasai portoenterostomy (KPE). We conducted a systematic review of PubMed, Web of Science, Embase, Scopus and OVID for English literature reporting BA biomarkers published before August 2020. Screening, data extraction, and quality assessment were performed in duplicate. A total of 51 eligible studies were included in the systematic review, and data from 12 (4182 subjects) were extracted for meta-analysis regarding the following 2 domains: (1) serum matrix metallopeptidase-7 (MMP-7), interleukin33 (IL-33) and γ-glutamyl transferase (GGT) to differentiate BA from non-BA; (2) the aspartate aminotransferase to platelet ratio index (APRi) to predict post-KPE liver fibrosis/cirrhosis. The summary sensitivity, specificity and area under the curve (AUC) of MMP-7 for diagnosing BA were 96%, 91% and 0.9847, respectively, and those of GGT were 80%, 79% and 0.9645, respectively. The summary sensitivity and specificity of IL-33 for diagnosing BA were 77% and 85%, respectively. The summary sensitivity and specificity of APRi for predicting post-KPE liver fibrosis were 61% and 80%, respectively, and the summary sensitivity, specificity and AUC of APRi for predicting post-KPE cirrhosis were 78%, 83% and 0.8729, respectively. Moreover, good evidence was shown in investigations of serum IL-18 and IL-33 in distinguishing BA from healthy controls, serum IL-18 for prognosis of post-KPE persistent jaundice, and serum hyaluronic acid and MMP-7 for prognosis of post-KPE significant liver fibrosis. MMP-7, IL-33 and GGT are useful biomarkers to assist in the diagnosis of BA. APRi might be used to predict post-KPE significant liver fibrosis and cirrhosis. These noninvasive biomarkers can be integrated into the management protocol of BA.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Systematic Review

MeSH terms

  • Biliary Atresia / blood*
  • Biliary Atresia / diagnostic imaging*
  • Biliary Atresia / metabolism
  • Biomarkers / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 7 / metabolism
  • Portoenterostomy, Hepatic / methods*
  • Prognosis


  • Biomarkers
  • Matrix Metalloproteinase 7