Fibroscan (FS) is a reliable noninvasive method for the diagnosis of advanced fibrosis and cirrhosis in chronic liver disease. However, there is no clear consensus with respect to the best FS cut-off values for use in alcoholic liver disease (ALD). The aims of this study were as follows: (a) to compare the performance of FS and different biochemical markers in ALD patients; (b) to assess the best FS cut-off values for the prediction of fibrosis stage in our ALD population; and (c) to assess the influence of aspartate aminotransferase (AST) values on FS.
Patients and methods
This retrospective study included 135 consecutive and compensated ALD patients who underwent liver biopsy between November 2006 and March 2012 at Erasme Hospital. FS, Fibrotest, FIB-4, aspartate aminotransferase to platelet ratio index (APRI), and Forns’ scores were tested in all patients.
The diagnostic accuracy of FS was 0.89 (95% confidence interval: 0.83–0.95) for the diagnosis of advanced fibrosis and 0.93 (95% confidence interval 0.90–0.97) for the diagnosis of cirrhosis. FS performed better than Fibrotest (0.81 and 0.88), APRI (0.65 and 0.75), Forns’ (0.64 and 0.78), and FIB-4 (0.70 and 0.73). The optimal cut-off values of liver stiffness (LS) for predicting METAVIR fibrosis stage F≥3 and F4 disease were 10.3 and 18.0 kPa, respectively. AST showed a significant positive correlation with LS (r=0.24, P=0.001). However, exclusion of patients with AST more than 50 IU/l only lowered the LS cut-off for the diagnosis of F4 (14 vs. 18.0 kPa).
FS is currently the most reliable noninvasive method for the diagnosis of advanced liver fibrosis and cirrhosis in ALD.