5 years ago

Diagnostic efficacy of noninvasive liver fibrosis indexes in predicting portal hypertension in patients with cirrhosis

Xiaoyu Xie, Le Wang, Qiang Zhu, Yuemin Feng, Xiaowen Ma, Chunqing Zhang, Hao Wu, Guangchuan Wang

by Le Wang, Yuemin Feng, Xiaowen Ma, Guangchuan Wang, Hao Wu, Xiaoyu Xie, Chunqing Zhang, Qiang Zhu


Recent data suggest that noninvasive liver fibrosis indexes could be useful for predicting esophageal varices (EV) in cirrhotic patients. However, thus far, the diagnostic efficacy of these indexes in predicting portal hypertension (PH) in cirrhotic patients has been poorly evaluated.


To evaluate the diagnostic efficacy of noninvasive liver fibrosis indexes in the diagnosis of PH.


A total of 238 cirrhotic patients underwent hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG) evaluation and relevant serum tests to analyze the variables associated with PH grade. Then, the diagnostic performances of seven fibrosis indexes, the aspartate aminotransferase (AST)-to-alanine aminotransferase (ALT) ratio (AAR), AST-to-platelet (PLT) ratio index (APRI), fibrosis index (FI), FIB-4, Forns index, King’s score and the Lok index, were evaluated to determine their efficacy in predicting clinically significant PH (CSPH) and severe PH (SPH). In addition, the performances of these fibrosis indexes in different subgroups were investigated.


The results of a multivariate analysis of serum markers showed that AST values, platelet (PLT) count and albumin (ALB) were associated with PH grade. Among the seven—fibrosis indexes, King’s score, APRI and the Lok index showed modest diagnostic accuracy in predicting CSPH and SPH, as indicated by AUC of 0.755 and 0.742, 0.740 and 0.742, and 0.722 and 0.717, respectively. In addition, combination of King’s score (cutoff 23.47) and Lok index (cutoff 1.30) predicted presence of CSPH, with the highest PPV (95.38%) and +LR (5.49). A subgroup analysis indicated that the noninvasive screening model may be more applicable to patients with cirrhosis of viral etiology.


Serum liver fibrosis indexes exhibited modest diagnostic accuracy for PH in cirrhotic patients. These indexes may not be able to replace HVPG measurements for the diagnosis of PH but may be used as a first-line screening method for CSPH in liver cirrhosis patients.

Publisher URL: http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article

DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0182969

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