How many valid measurements are necessary to assess liver fibrosis using FibroScan(R) in patients with chronic viral hepatitis? An analysis of subjects with at least 10 valid measurements

2012 Yonsei Medical Journal 53;2 (337-345)

PURPOSE: Using FibroScan(R) to obtain a reliable liver stiffness measurement (LSM) may require more than 10 valid measurements (VMs), according to the manufacturer's recommendations. However, this requirement lacks scientific evidence in support thereof. We investigated the minimal number of VMs required to assess liver fibrosis without significant loss of accuracy in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) and C (CHC) and predictors of discordance between LSM and liver biopsy (LB). MATERIALS AND METHODS: Between January 2005 and December 2009, we prospectively enrolled 182 patients with CHB and 68 patients with CHC who were to undergo LB and LSM before starting antiviral treatment. Only LSMs with at least 10 VMs were considered reliable. The Batts and Ludwig scoring system was used for histologic assessment. RESULTS: The mean age and body mass index were 46.0 years and 23.4 kg/m(2) in patients with CHB and 49.7 years and 23.1 kg/m(2) in those with CHC, respectively. The median elasticity scores from the first 3, first 5, and all VMs taken significantly predicted fibrosis stages >/=F2 and F4 (all p0.05 by DeLong's method). Alanine aminotransferase (ALT) was the only predictor of discordance in fibrosis stage as estimated by the median elasticity score from the first 3 VMs and by LB in patients with CHB, whereas no significant predictor was identified in those with CHC. CONCLUSION: After comparison of patients who had more than 10 valid measurements for LSM, three VMs may be enough to assess liver fibrosis using LSM without significant loss of accuracy in patients with CHC and patients with CHB. However, ALT should be considered when interpreting LSM for patients with CHB.

Pubmed : 22318821