Transient elastography and APRI score: looking at false positives and false negatives. Diagnostic performance and association to fibrosis staging in chronic hepatitis C

2016 Brazilian journal of medical and biological resear 49;9 (e5432)

Although long regarded as the gold standard for liver fibrosis staging in chronic hepatitis C (CHC), liver biopsy (LB) implies both the risk of an invasive procedure and significant variability. The aim of this study was to evaluate the diagnostic performance for transient elastography (TE) and aspartate aminotransferase to platelet index (APRI) used alone and in combination compared to liver biopsy and to analyze false positive/negative results. Patients with CHC, and no previous clinical diagnosis of cirrhosis were enrolled to undergo liver biopsy, TE and APRI. A total of 182 adult patients with a median age of 55 years and median body mass index of 26.71 kg/m2 were analyzed. On LB, 56% of patients had significant levels of fibrosis (METAVIR F>/=2) and 28% had advanced fibrosis (F3/F4). The strongest performance for both tests was observed for exclusion of advanced fibrosis with good negative predictive values (89 and 86%, respectively). Low necroinflammatory activity on LB was associated with false negative TE. False positives were associated with NASH and smaller LB fragments. Correlation between APRI and Fibroscan for F>/=2 was 100% and 84% for F>/=3 and remained high in both false negative and false positive instances, correctly identifying F