Sequential algorithms combining non-invasive markers and biopsy for the assessment of liver fibrosis in chronic hepatitis B.

World journal of gastroenterology : WJG

Sebastiani G, Vario A, Guido M, Alberti A

2007 World J. Gastroenterol. Volume 13 Issue 4

PubMed 17278217 DOI None

FibroTest Reliability Independant Team vs. Biomarkers HBV Fibrosis


To assess the performance of several non-invasive markers and of our recently proposed stepwise combination algorithms to diagnose significant fibrosis (F > or = 2 by METAVIR) and cirrhosis (F4 by METAVIR) in chronic hepatitis B (CHB).


One hundred and ten consecutive patients (80 males, 30 females, mean age: 42.6 +/- 11.3) with CHB undergoing diagnostic liver biopsy were included. AST-to-Platelet ratio (APRI), Fornso index, AST-to-ALT Ratio, Goteborg University Cirrhosis Index (GUCI), Hui's model and Fibrotest were measured on the day of liver biopsy. The performance of these methods and of sequential algorithms combining Fibrotest, APRI and biopsy was defined by positive (PPV) and negative (NPV) predictive values, accuracy and area under the curve (AUC).


PPV for significant fibrosis was excellent (100%) with Forns and high (> 92%) with APRI, GUCI, Fibrotest and Hui. However, significant fibrosis could not be excluded by any marker (NPV < 65%). Fibrotest had the best PPV and NPV for cirrhosis (87% and 90%, respectively). Fibrotest showed the best AUC for both significant fibrosis and cirrhosis (0.85 and 0.76, respectively). Stepwise combination algorithms of APRI, Fibrotest and biopsy showed excellent performance (0.96 AUC, 100% NPV) for significant fibrosis and 0.95 AUC, 98% NPV for cirrhosis, with 50%-80% reduced need for liver biopsy.


In CHB sequential combination of APRI, Fibrotest and liver biopsy greatly improves the diagnostic performance of the single non-invasive markers. Need for liver biopsy is reduced by 50%-80% but cannot be completely avoided. Non-invasive markers and biopsy should be considered as agonists and not antagonists towards the common goal of estimating liver fibrosis.

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