[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Biopsy is the gold standard for assessing cirrhosis in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection, but it is expensive and at risk of complications. Alternative non-invasive methods have been developed but their usefulness remains uncertain.
To compare the accuracy of five non-invasive scores in detecting cirrhosis.
We reviewed the charts and liver biopsies of 228 consecutive, treatment-naïve, hepatitis C virus-positive patients, 13.2% of whom with histological diagnosis of cirrhosis. The five alternative scores were age-platelet index, cirrhosis discriminant score, aspartate transaminases to platelet ratio index, Pohl's index, and aspartate transaminases/alanine transaminases ratio.
The specificities of the scores were good (87-100%), but not so their sensitivities (17-67%). Accordingly positive likelihood ratios were generally good but negative likelihood ratios were suboptimal. Combinations of the scores independently related to cirrhosis only slightly change this diagnostic accuracy. Using double cut-offs to exclude/diagnoses cirrhosis, cirrhosis discriminant score classified 21% of patients without misdiagnoses and aspartate transaminases to platelet ratio index classified 85% of case with 9% of misdiagnoses.
The five scores showed variable sensitivities and specificities in detecting liver cirrhosis, both individually and in combination. The use of double cut-off points may make the cirrhosis discriminant score and aspartate transaminases to platelet ratio index useful to reduce the number of patients submitted to liver biopsy.