Liver stiffness measurement selects patients with cirrhosis at risk of bearing large oesophageal varices

2006 Journal of Hepatology 45, 2 (230-235)

BACKGROUND/AIMS: Periodic endoscopic screening for oesophageal varices is recommended in patients with cirrhosis, but might be limited to a subgroup of patients if a simple non-invasive test was available to select those at risk of bleeding. METHODS: We studied in 165 patients with cirrhosis the relation between the presence of oesophageal varices assessed by endoscopy, and liver stiffness measurement by Fibroscan, a non-invasive parameter related to liver fibrosis. The results were compared to those of other parameters reflecting portal hypertension, splenic size, platelet count, and platelet count/spleen size ratio. RESULTS: Liver stiffness measurement was correlated to the grade of oesophageal varices (r = 0.6, p < 0.0001). AUROC values of liver stiffness measurement were 0.84 (95% CI: 0.78-0.90) for the presence of oesophageal varices and 0.83 (0.76-0.89) for varices grade > or = II. Liver stiffness measurement value < 19 kPa was highly predictive of the absence of oesophageal varices grade > or = II (Se: 84%, PPV: 47%, NPV: 93%). CONCLUSIONS: Liver stiffness measurement allows to predict the presence of large oesophageal varices in patients with cirrhosis, and may help to select patients for endoscopic screening.

Pubmed : 16797100