APRI, the FIB-4 score, and Forn’s index have noninvasive diagnostic value for liver fibrosis in patients with chronic hepatitis B

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Abstract

Objectives

The aim of this study was to evaluate the potential use of serum transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF-β1), tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinase-1 (TIMP-1), fetuin-A, and fibroblast growth factor 21 (FGF21) in the detection of liver fibrosis in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB). The value of the noninvasive fibrosis models – that is, the aspartate aminotransferase to platelet ratio index (APRI), the fibrosis index based on the four factors (FIB-4) score, and Forn’s index – was also examined.

Materials and methods

CHB patients who underwent liver biopsy for the evaluation of fibrosis were included in the study. A total of 73 patients were divided into two groups according to their METAVIR scores (F0–1, no/minimal fibrosis; F2–4, significant fibrosis). Serum levels of TGF-β1, TIMP-1, fetuin-A, and FGF21 were measured besides APRI, FIB-4, and Forn’s scores. The area under the receiver operating characteristic curve was measured for each parameter, followed by calculation of sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values.

Results

APRI, FIB-4, and Forn’s index scores were significantly higher in patients with significant fibrosis (P<0.05). There was no difference between no/minimal fibrosis and significant fibrosis groups in terms of serum levels of TGFβ-1, TIMP-1, fetuin-A, and FGF21 (P>0.05). The areas under the receiver operating characteristic curve for TGF-β1, TIMP-1, fetuin-A, FGF21, APRI, FIB-4, and Forn’s index were 0.445, 0.483, 0.436, 0.585, 0.662, 0.687, and 0.680, respectively.

Conclusion

Our results suggest that serum TGF-β1, TIMP-1, fetuin-A, and FGF21 are not useful for the assessment of the extent of liver fibrosis in CHB in this patient group. However, APRI, FIB-4, and Forn’s index have a better diagnostic value in patients with significant fibrosis than in those with no/minimal fibrosis.

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