The role of Fibroscan in predicting the presence of varices in patients with cirrhosis

2015 European Journal of Gastroenterology & Hepatology 27;11 (1307-1312)

BACKGROUND/AIM: Transient elastography is a relatively new, noninvasive method of measuring liver stiffness. This study aimed to evaluate the diagnostic accuracy of transient elastography and other noninvasive methods for the diagnosis of esophageal varices (EV) in patients with cirrhosis. METHODS: This cross-sectional study graded EV according to size in 145 consecutive patients with cirrhosis who underwent endoscopy, Fibroscan, and other noninvasive diagnostic methods. The accuracy of these diagnostic methods in diagnosing EV was evaluated on the basis of area under receiver operating characteristic (AUROC) curves. RESULTS: Elastography was successful in 123 patients. Of these, 54.5% had hepatitis C and 10.6% had hepatitis B. EV were absent in 39.8%, small EV was present in 24.4%, and large EV was present in 35.8% of patients. Fibroscan, aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index, and international normalized ratio showed low accuracy in diagnosing EV in non-viral-related cirrhosis patients (AUROCs 0.66, 0.68, and 0.67, respectively). Fibroscan and aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index were more accurate in measuring EV with a viral etiology (AUROCs 0.704 and 0.703, respectively). A cutoff value of 16.9 kPa was 83.8% sensitive in diagnosing EV in non-viral-cirrhotic patients, whereas a cutoff value of 19.9 kPa was 83.4% sensitive in diagnosing EV in patients with viral hepatitis. Fibroscan was moderately accurate in diagnosing grade I EV and less accurate in diagnosing grades II and III EV in all cirrhotic patients, irrespective of the underlying etiology. CONCLUSION: Fibroscan might be useful in predicting the presence of EV in patients with cirrhosis with a viral etiology. However, endoscopy remains the gold standard for EV screening.

Pubmed : 26193054