Biomarkers of liver fibrosis.
Advances in clinical chemistry
Poynard T, Morra R, Ingiliz P, Imbert-Bismut F, Thabut D, Messous D, Munteanu M, Massard J, Benhamou Y, Ratziu V
2008 Adv Clin Chem Volume 46 Issue None
Liver biopsy, due to its limitations and risks, is an imperfect gold standard for assessing the severity of the most frequent chronic liver diseases. This chapter summarized the advantages and the limits of the available biomarkers of liver fibrosis. Among a total of 2237 references, a total of 14 validated biomarkers have been identified between 1991 and 2007. Nine were not patented and five were patented. FibroTest (FT) was the most studied test with 33 different populations including 6549 patients and 925 controls. The mean diagnostic value for the diagnosis of advanced fibrosis assessed using standardized area under the receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curves was 0.84 [95% confidence interval (CI), 0.83-0.86], without significant difference between the causes of liver disease, hepatitis C, hepatitis B, alcoholic or nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. High-risk profiles of false negative/positive of FT are present in 3% of populations, mainly Gilbert syndrome, hemolysis, and acute inflammation. FT has higher accuracy than aspartate aminotransferase/platelets ratio index (APRI), the most used nonpatented test. No significant difference has been observed between the five patented tests. A quality score has been assessed in order to compare the quality of fibrosis biomarkers. Neither biomarkers nor biopsy are sufficient alone to take definitive decision in a given patient and all the clinical and biological data must be taken into account. Due to the evidence-based data, health authorities in some countries have already approved validated biomarkers as first-line procedure for the staging of liver fibrosis. This overview of evidence-based data suggests that biomarkers could be used as an alternative to liver biopsy for the assessment of fibrosis stage in the four more common chronic liver diseases: C virus (HCV), hepatitis B virus (HBV), hepatitis nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and alcoholic liver disease (ALD). Neither biomarkers nor biopsy are sufficient alone to take definitive decision in a given patient and all the clinical and biological data must be taken into account.