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.