Usefulness of noninvasive transient elastography for assessment of liver fibrosis stage in chronic hepatitis C

2006 World Journal of Gastroenterology 12, 48 (7768-7773)

AIM: To evaluate the method of noninvasive transient elastography for assessment of histological stage of liver fibrosis in patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC). METHODS: Two hundred and thirty-seven patients with CHC were included in this study. Liver biopsy was performed under ultrasonography on 217 of the patients, excluding twenty with clear clinical evidence of liver cirrhosis. Fifty subjects without liver disease were enrolled as a control group (stage 0). Twenty-five patients with sustained virological response (SVR) to interferon (IFN) therapy were also enrolled. These patients underwent liver biopsy before IFN therapy. Examination of liver stiffness (LS) was performed by elastography. RESULTS: Medians (50% levels) of LS were 4.1 (3.5-4.9), 6.3 (4.8-8.5), 8.8 (6.8-12.0), 14.6 (10.5-18.6), and 22.2 (15.4-28.0), respectively, in the fibrosis stages 0-4 (P < 0.001). LS was significantly correlated with four serum fibrosis markers. LS values in patients with SVR were 3.8 (3.5-5.6), 5.2 (4.4-6.8), 6.8 (6.1-7.6), and 6.1 (3.6-7.9), respectively, in the fibrosis stages 1-4. In all stages, LS for patients with SVR was significantly lower than that for patients who did not undergo IFN therapy. LS was significantly correlated with serum concentrations of hyaluronic acid, type IV collagen, type IV collagen 7S, and type III procollagen N peptide. CONCLUSION: LS correlated well with the histological stage of fibrosis. Changes in liver fibrosis stage may thus be estimated noninvasively using transient elastography.

Pubmed : 17203518