Validating, deconstructing and refining Baveno criteria for ruling out high-risk varices in patients with compensated cirrhosis

2017 Liver International 37;8 (1177-1183)

BACKGROUND: Guidelines recommend variceal screening in patients with cirrhosis to identify varices at high risk of bleeding requiring primary prophylaxis. Non-invasive criteria to rule out high-risk varices will avoid unnecessary endoscopies. Recent Baveno VI criteria define patients with compensated cirrhosis in whom endoscopy can be avoided as those with a liver stiffness by transient elastography 150 000/mm3. AIMS: To validate Baveno criteria in two cohorts with a different prevalence of high-risk varices and to determine whether alternate parameters not including liver stiffness would be equal/more accurate in ruling out high-risk varices. METHODS: Retrospective study evaluating patients with liver stiffness >10 kPa who had liver stiffness and endoscopy within 1 year of each other. RESULTS: This study included 161 patients from the US cohort (14 [9%] with high-risk varices) and 101 patients from an Italian cohort (17 [17%] with high-risk varices). Of patients meeting Baveno criteria (41 in the US, 16 in Italy), none had high-risk varices and therefore 26% (US) and 16% (Italy) endoscopies could have been avoided. Sensitivity and negative predictive value were 100%. A stepwise strategy using platelet count >150 000 and MELD=6, increased the number of endoscopies avoided to 54% (US) while maintaining a sensitivity and negative predictive value of 100%. Excellent sensitivity and negative predictive value were validated in the Italian cohort and in another cohort of patients with a clinical diagnosis of cirrhosis. CONCLUSIONS: This study validates Baveno VI criteria, particularly in sites with a low prevalence of high-risk varices and describes a new accurate strategy that does not include liver stiffness.

Pubmed : 28160373