Lower serum fibroblast activation protein shows promise in the exclusion of clinically significant liver fibrosis due to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in diabetes and obesity

2015 Diabetes Research and Clinical Practice 108;3 (466-472)

Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is common in diabetes and obesity but few have clinically significant liver fibrosis. Improved risk-assessment is needed as the commonly used clinical-risk algorithm, the NAFLD fibrosis score (NFS), is often inconclusive. AIMS: To determine whether circulating fibroblast activation protein (cFAP), which is elevated in cirrhosis, has value in excluding significant fibrosis, particularly combined with NFS. METHODS: cFAP was measured in 106 with type 2 diabetes who had transient elastography (Cohort 1) and 146 with morbid obesity who had liver biopsy (Cohort 2). RESULTS: In Cohort 1, cFAP (per SD) independently associated with median liver stiffness (LSM) >/=10.3kPa with OR of 2.0 (95% CI 1.2-3.4), p=0.006. There was 0.12 OR (95% CI 0.03-0.61) of LSM>/=10.3kPa for those in the lowest compared with the highest FAP tertile (p=0.010). FAP levels below 730pmol AMC/min/mL had 95% NPV for LSM>/=10.3kPa and reclassified 41% of 64 subjects from NFS 'indeterminate-risk' to 'low-risk'. In Cohort 2, cFAP (per SD), associated with 1.7 fold (95% CI 1.1-2.8) increased odds of significant fibrosis (F>/=2), p=0.021, and low cFAP reclassified 49% of 73 subjects from 'indeterminate-risk' to 'low-risk'. CONCLUSIONS: Lower cFAP, when combined with NFS, may have clinical utility in excluding significant fibrosis in diabetes and obesity.

Pubmed : 25836944