Reliable and available non-invasive methods for hepatic fibrosis assessment are important in chronic liver disease (CLD). Our aim was to compare stepwise algorithms combining standard ultrasound with serum markers and transient elastography (TE) for detecting advanced fibrosis (F3-4) and cirrhosis. Retrospective single center study between 2012 and 2018 of CLD patients with biopsy, TE, blood tests, and liver ultrasound parameters of surface nodularity (SN), lobar redistribution, and hepatic vein nodularity. Our cohort included 157 patients (51.6% males), mean age 47.6 years, predominantly non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and viral hepatitis (61%), with F3-4 prevalence of 60.5%. Area under the curve for F3-4 was 0.89 for TE ≥ 9.6 kPa and 0.80 for FIB-4 > 3.25. In multivariate modeling, TE ≥ 9.6 kPa (OR 21.78) and SN (OR 3.81) had independent association with F3-4; SN (OR 5.89) and TE ≥ 10.2 kPa (OR 15.73) were independently associated with cirrhosis. Two stepwise approaches included FIB-4 followed by SN or TE; sensitivity and specificity of stepwise SN were 0.65 and 1.00, and 0.89 and 0.33 for TE ≥ 9.6 kPa, respectively. Ultrasound SN and TE were independently predictive of F3-4 and cirrhosis in our cohort. FIB-4 followed by SN had high specificity for F3-4.
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