Evaluation of liver steatosis, measured by controlled attenuation parameter, in patients with hepatitis C-induced advanced liver fibrosis and hepatocellular carcinoma

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Abstract

Introduction

Steatosis is a documented feature of chronic hepatitis C (CHC). There is an association between steatosis decrease and fibrosis progression. The association between steatosis and advanced fibrosis versus hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development has not been precisely evaluated. The controlled attenuation parameter (CAP) was applied as an immediate and efficient process to detect and quantify hepatic steatosis with adequate accuracy.

Aims

The aim of this study was to assess the difference in liver steatosis between patients with hepatitis C virus-related advanced hepatic fibrosis versus HCC.

Patients and methods

This cross-sectional study included 130 patients with HCC, attending the multidisciplinary HCC clinic, Cairo University, and 54 patients with CHC between October 2015 and June 2016. Clinical and laboratory characteristics were recorded. Liver stiffness and CAP were obtained by using the FibroScan 502, touch.

Results

All included patients had genotype 4. The mean CAP value was significantly lower in HCC (209.5±57.1 dB/m) versus CHC (259.9±54.9 dB/m). Receiver operating characteristic curve revealed an area under the curve of 0.75 for the differentiation between groups. At a cutoff value of 237 dB/m, sensitivity was 72.3%, specificity was 70.7%, positive likelihood ratio was 2.5, and negative likelihood ratio was 0.4 in the differentiation between CHC versus HCC. Logistic regression analysis revealed an odds ratio of 6.4 for the diagnosis of HCC with CAP of less than 237 dB/m. Multivariate analysis, controlling for age, sex, BMI, triglycerides, and cholesterol levels, revealed a significantly increased odds for HCC diagnosis (odds ratio: 4.3, P=0.006).

Conclusion

The progression of CHC is associated with a decrease in steatosis, particularly toward advanced fibrosis and HCC. Steatosis reduction less than 237 dB/m is likely to be associated with HCC.

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