Correlation of liver biochemistry with liver stiffness in chronic hepatitis B and development of a predictive model for liver fibrosis

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AimTo correlate liver stiffness with demographical factors and routine liver biochemistry and to assess the predictive value of these as potential markers of fibrosis.MethodsTransient elastography was performed in 1268 chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients. According to a previous validated study for CHB, liver stiffness of >8.1 and >10.3 kPa were used as cut-off values for defining severe fibrosis and cirrhosis respectively.ResultsLiver stiffness correlated positively with bilirubin, alkaline phosphatase (ALP), γ-glutamyl transpeptidase (GGT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), alanine aminotransferase (ALT), globulin, α-fetoprotein (AFP) and HBV DNA levels and negatively with albumin and platelet levels (P<0.05 for all correlations). From 13 parameters (age, sex, platelet, AST, ALT, GGT, AFP, albumin, globulin, bilirubin, ALP, HBV DNA and hepatitis B e-antigen), four best parameters (AST, platelet, GGT and AFP) were used to derive a liver stiffness model. Using log (index)=1.44+0.1490(GGT)+0.3308 log (AST)−0.5846 log (platelets)+0.1148 log (AFP+1) to predict both severe fibrosis and cirrhosis had area under the receiver operating characteristics curve of 0.85.ConclusionRoutine liver biochemistry correlated well with liver stiffness in Asian CHB patients. A model using simple serum markers can predict liver stiffness, and further studies are required to validate the usefulness of these simple tests as non-invasive markers of fibrosis in CHB.

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