The Baveno VI criteria for predicting esophageal varices: validation in real life practice

2017 Revista Española de Enfermedades Digestivas 109;

BACKGROUND AND AIMS: According to the Baveno VI consensus, patients with liver stiffness 150,000 ul have very low risk of clinically significant varices and do not need a screening endoscopy. The aim of this study was to evaluate non-invasive methods as predictors of esophageal varices according to the Baveno VI recommendations, in real life clinical practice. METHODS: Retrospective evaluation of patients with chronic liver disease who underwent transient elastography between January 2013 and December 2015. RESULTS: One hundred and four patients were included in the study, the median age was 56.8 years and 69.2% were male. The etiology of liver disease was hepatitis C in 80% of patients (including 20% with HIV co-infection), alcohol in 12%, hepatitis B in 4% and other causes in 5%. Varices were present in 25% of patients. A liver stiffness 150,000/l had a sensitivity of 84.6% and a specificity of 64.1%. Four patients with a platelet count (PLT) > 150,000/l had esophageal varices. When both criteria were applied to the patient cohort, according to the Baveno VI consensus, the sensitivity was 100% and the specificity, 61.5%. CONCLUSION: In this study, the Baveno VI criteria had 100% sensitivity but a relatively low specificity for the non-invasive diagnosis of esophageal varices. In clinical practice, all patients with varices are identified but many patients have a subsequent negative endoscopy.

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