Can transient elastography replace liver histology for determination of advanced fibrosis in alcoholic patients: a real-life study

2010 Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology 44;8 (575-582)

BACKGROUND/GOALS: Consensus is lacking whether cut-off values for different fibrosis stages using transient elastography (TE, FibroScan) are universally applicable to all liver diseases. We evaluated the performance of TE in predicting severe fibrosis (> or =F3) in alcoholic patients using cut-off values validated for chronic hepatitis C. STUDY: Patients admitted for alcohol withdrawal were prospectively evaluated by TE and biochemistry for aspartate aminotransferase to platelet ratio index (APRI) and Forns score calculations. If TE revealed severe fibrosis (> or =F3), hepatic venous pressure gradient measurements and transjugular liver biopsy were proposed results of which were correlated and compared with TE measurements or APRI and Forns scores. RESULTS: Among 239 patients, 72 had liver TE scores > or =F3 and 23 declined liver biopsy leaving a final study population of 49 patients. Compared with biopsy, 32 patients were correctly classified by TE, whereas 16 patients differed by 2 fibrosis stages yielding a positive predictive value of 65% for liver fibrosis > or =F3 at TE. Specificity and sensitivity of TE improved beyond 75% and 70%, respectively, with modified cut-offs of 17 (F3) and 21.1 kPa (F4). Areas under the receiver operating characteristic curves were 0.766 and 0.864 for severe fibrosis (> or =F3) and cirrhosis, respectively. APRI and Forns scores performed less well than TE regarding sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value, negative predictive value, and area under the receiver operating characteristic values. A significant correlation was found between hepatic venous pressure gradients and liver stiffness values at TE. CONCLUSIONS: TE with modified cut-offs has the potential to predict advanced fibrosis and significant portal hypertension in alcoholic patients. APRI and Forns scores are of limited usefulness in alcoholics.

Pubmed : 20104185