Improving transient elastography performance for detecting hepatitis B cirrhosis

2012 Digestive & Liver Disease 44;1 (61-66)

BACKGROUND: Transient elastography is a well-established method for detecting cirrhosis. AIM: To improve the performance of transient elastography in detecting hepatitis B cirrhosis by alanine aminotransferase (ALT)-stratified cutoffs, bilirubin normalization and transient elastography-based algorithms. METHODS: A total of 315 compensated patients were analysed following liver biopsies, transient elastography, ultrasonography and blood tests. RESULTS: The area under the receiver operating characteristics (ROC) curve of transient elastography for predicting cirrhosis was 0.88 (95% confidence interval 0.84-0.92). The cutoffs to exclude and confirm cirrhosis were 10.4 kPa and 17.3 kPa in patients with ALT /=5 x upper limit of normal range, respectively. With ALT-stratified cutoffs, 68.6% of patients did not require liver biopsies. Areas under the ROC curve in patients with normal or abnormal bilirubin was 0.90(0.85-0.95) and 0.84(0.77-0.92), respectively. In patients with normal bilirubin, the cutoffs for excluding and confirming cirrhosis were 10.6 kPa and 16.9 kPa, respectively. By transient elastography screening, 78.3% of patients with normal bilirubin would not need a liver biopsy. Areas under the ROC curves between transient elastography and transient elastography-based algorithm including transient elastography-splenomegaly-platelet index [0.90(0.86-0.94)] and ultrasonic score-transient elastography index [0.91(0.86-0.96)] were not significantly different. CONCLUSIONS: Amongst ALT-stratified cutoffs, bilirubin normalization and transient elastography-based algorithm, bilirubin normalization was especially important for improving performance of transient elastography for compensated hepatitis B cirrhosis detection.

Pubmed : 21907650