Published online Dec 7, 2010. doi: 10.3748/wjg.v16.i45.5710
Revised: September 3, 2010
Accepted: September 10, 2010
Published online: December 7, 2010
AIM: To examine the accuracy of the aspartate aminotransferase (AST)/Platelet Ratio Index (APRI) and FIB-4, in predicting longitudinal changes in liver histology in hepatitis C virus (HCV) patients.
METHODS: Patients that underwent repeat liver biopsies at least 1 year apart from 1999 to 2007 were identified. Liver fibrosis was staged on needle core biopsies evaluated by a single expert liver pathologist. Only laboratory values within 3 mo of the liver biopsies were used.
RESULTS: Thirty-six patients met the inclusion criteria with 50% stage 1 on initial biopsy, 25% stage 2, and 22% stage 3. Nineteen of 36 (53%) had progression of fibrosis on repeat biopsies, while 16 (44%) showed no change in stage, and one (3%) showed improvement. Patients that showed progression of fibrosis had significantly higher alanine aminotransferase and aspartate aminotransferase levels than the group that did not show progression. A significant correlation was seen between change in stage of fibrosis and change in APRI (r² = 0.39, P = 0.00001) and a change in FIB-4 (r² = 0.31, P = 0.00004). A change in APRI (ΔAPRI) of 0.18 had 80% positive predictive value (PPV) and 67% negative predictive value (NPV) for progression of fibrosis. A change in FIB-4 (ΔFIB-4) of 0.39 had 75% PPV and 75% NPV for predicting progression of fibrosis.
CONCLUSION: ΔAPRI and ΔFIB-4 parallel changes in fibrosis progression, and could be useful tools for clinicians in following patients with active chronic HCV infection.