Accuracy of transient elastography-FibroScan(R), acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI) imaging, the enhanced liver fibrosis (ELF) test, APRI, and the FIB-4 index compared with liver biopsy in patients with chronic hepatitis C

2017 Clinics (Sao Paulo) 72;9 (516-525)

OBJECTIVES: Although liver biopsy is the gold standard for determining the degree of liver fibrosis, issues regarding its invasiveness and the small amount of liver tissue evaluated can limit its applicability and interpretation in clinical practice. Non-invasive evaluation methods for liver fibrosis can address some of these limitations. The aim of this study was to evaluate the accuracy of transient elastography-FibroScan(R), acoustic radiation force impulse (ARFI), enhanced liver fibrosis (ELF), the aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index (APRI), and the FIB-4 index compared with liver biopsy in hepatitis C. METHODS: We evaluated chronic hepatitis C patients who were followed at the Division of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Hospital das Clinicas, Department of Gastroenterology of University of Sao Paulo School of Medicine, Sao Paulo, Brazil, and who underwent liver biopsy. The accuracy of each method was determined by a receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curve analysis, and fibrosis was classified as significant fibrosis (>/=F2), advanced fibrosis (>/=F3), or cirrhosis (F4). The Obuchowski method was also used to determine the diagnostic accuracy of each method at the various stages of fibrosis. In total, 107 FibroScan(R), 51 ARFI, 68 ELF, 106 APRI, and 106 FIB-4 analyses were performed. RESULTS: A total of 107 patients were included in the study. The areas under the ROC curve (AUROCs) according to fibrosis degree were as follows: significant fibrosis (>/=F2): FibroScan(R): 0.83, FIB-4: 0.76, ELF: 0.70, APRI: 0.69, and ARFI: 0.67; advanced fibrosis (>/=F3): FibroScan(R): 0.85, ELF: 0.82, FIB-4: 0.77, ARFI: 0.74, and APRI: 0.71; and cirrhosis (F4): APRI: 1, FIB-4: 1, FibroScan(R): 0.99, ARFI: 0.96, and ELF: 0.94. The accuracies of transient elastography, ARFI, ELF, APRI and FIB-4 determined by the Obuchowski method were F0-F1: 0.81, 0.78, 0.44, 0.72 and 0.67, respectively; F1-F2: 0.73, 0.53, 0.62, 0.60, and 0.68, respectively; F2-F3: 0.70, 0.64, 0.77, 0.60, and 0.67, respectively; and F3-F4: 0.98, 0.96, 0.82, 1, and 1, respectively. CONCLUSION: Transient elastography remained the most effective method for evaluating all degrees of fibrosis. The accuracy of all methodologies was best at F4.