A noninvasive indicator for the diagnosis of early hepatitis B virus-related liver fibrosis

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Background and aimsLiver stiffness measurement (LSM) detected by FibroScan, combined with biochemical indexes, has shown potential values for assessment of liver fibrosis pathological degrees. Here we aimed to investigate a noninvasive method for hepatitis B virus-related liver fibrosis.Patients and methodsIn all, 307 patients who underwent liver biopsy and LSM measurement were included. Inflammation grades and fibrosis stages were evaluated according to METAVIR scoring system. Spearman’s rank correlation analysis, logistic regression analysis, and receiver operating characteristic (ROC) curves analysis were performed to assess the factors’ role in inflammation grades/fibrosis stages.ResultsSpearman’s rank correlation analysis showed that LSM, alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and AST-to-platelet ratio index were positively correlated with inflammation grades and histologic fibrosis stages; platelets showed negative correlation, and AST-to-ALT ratio was not related. Logistic regression analysis indicated that LSM and APRI were risk factors for inflammation grades; LSM was the independent risk factor for fibrosis stages, P<0.0001, odds ratio>1. ROC curve analysis found LSM cutoff values and areas under the curve for the diagnosis of fibrosis scores: 6.95 and 0.804, respectively, for the diagnosis of significant fibrosis (F≥F2); 10.35 and 0.856, respectively, for severe fibrosis (F≥F3); 11.35 and 0.897, respectively, for cirrhosis (F=F4). Considering ALT as a confounding factor, ROC analysis was repeated in patients with normal and elevated ALT separately; the results indicated that when ALT was up to 40 U/l, LSM cutoff value and areas under the curve for the diagnosis of significant fibrosis (F≥F2) were 6.55 and 0.748, respectively.ConclusionThis study provided a noninvasive treatment and prevention indicator for early hepatitis B virus-related liver fibrosis.

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