Performance of simple noninvasive scoring systems for the prediction of advanced fibrosis in patients with chronic hepatitis B

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Abstract

Background and aim

The aim of the study was to analyze the diagnostic performance and clinical utility of simple noninvasive tests for the detection of advanced fibrosis in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) infection seen at a tertiary referral center in Germany.

Patients and methods

We retrospectively analyzed 239 adult CHB patients with available liver biopsies. Patient demographics, hepatitis B markers, antiviral treatment, laboratory parameters, results from liver imaging, and histology were recorded. The sensitivity, specificity, and positive and negative predictive values were determined along with the area under receiver operating characteristic curves (AUROC) using published formulas and cut-off values for fibrosis index based on the four factors, aspartate aminotransferase–alanine aminotransferase ratio index (AAR), aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index (APRI), and age–platelet index.

Results

The median documented duration of CHB infection was 31 months (range: 6–340 months); 86% of the patients were Caucasian and 71% were men. The AUROCs for the detection of advanced fibrosis were 0.75 [95% confidence interval (CI): 0.67–0.82], 0.72 (95% CI: 0.64–0.80), 0.48 (95% CI: 0.39–0.56), and 0.73 (95% CI: 0.66–0.81) for fibrosis index the four factors, APRI, AAR, and age–platelet index, respectively. Patients with advanced fibrosis on biopsy were misclassified as having mild fibrosis in 35% (APRI) to 82% (AAR) of cases.

Conclusion

Because of their moderate test performance (AUROCs: 0.48–0.75) and their high misclassification rate, we could not confirm a reliable clinical utility for the analyzed noninvasive fibrosis scoring systems for the prediction of advanced fibrosis in mostly Caucasian CHB patients.

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