Non-Invasive Evaluation of Cystic Fibrosis Related Liver Disease in Adults with ARFI, Transient Elastography and Different Fibrosis Scores

2012 PLoS ONE 7;7 (e42139)

BACKGROUND: Cystic fibrosis-related liver disease (CFLD) is present in up to 30% of cystic fibrosis patients and can result in progressive liver failure. Diagnosis of CFLD is challenging. Non-invasive methods for staging of liver fibrosis display an interesting diagnostic approach for CFLD detection. AIM: We evaluated transient elastography (TE), acoustic radiation force impulse imaging (ARFI), and fibrosis indices for CFLD detection. METHODS: TE and ARFI were performed in 55 adult CF patients. In addition, AST/Platelets-Ratio-Index (APRI), and Forns' score were calculated. Healthy probands and patients with alcoholic liver cirrhosis served as controls. RESULTS: Fourteen CF patients met CFLD criteria, six had liver cirrhosis. Elastography acquisition was successful in >89% of cases. Non-cirrhotic CFLD individuals showed elastography values similar to CF patients without liver involvement. Cases with liver cirrhosis differed significantly from other CFLD patients (ARFI: 1.49 vs. 1.13 m/s; p = 0.031; TE: 7.95 vs. 4.16 kPa; p = 0.020) and had significantly lower results than individuals with alcoholic liver cirrhosis (ARFI: 1.49 vs. 2.99 m/s; p = 0.002). APRI showed the best diagnostic performance for CFLD detection (AUROC 0.815; sensitivity 85.7%, specificity 70.7%). CONCLUSIONS: ARFI, TE, and laboratory based fibrosis indices correlate with each other and reliably detect CFLD related liver cirrhosis in adult CF patients. CF specific cut-off values for cirrhosis in adults are lower than in alcoholic cirrhosis.