Optimisation of the use of APRI and FIB-4 to rule out cirrhosis in patients with chronic hepatitis B: results from the SONIC-B study

Milan J. Sonneveld, Willem P. Brouwer, Henry L.Y. Chan, Teerha Piratvisuth, Ji Dong Jia, Stefan Zeuzem, Yun Fan Liaw, Bettina E. Hansen, Hannah Choi, Cynthia Wat, Vedran Pavlovic, Anuj Gaggar, Qing Xie, Maria Buti, Robert J. de Knegt, Harry L.A. Janssen

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Abstract

© 2019 Elsevier Ltd Background: Ruling out the presence of cirrhosis is important for the management of chronic hepatitis B. We aimed to study and optimise the performance of two non-invasive indices for ruling out cirrhosis: the aspartate aminotransferase-platelet ratio index (APRI) and fibrosis score based on four factors (FIB-4). Methods: We applied established cutoffs to rule in (APRI >2·00; FIB-4 >3·25) or rule out (APRI <1·00; FIB-4 <1·45) cirrhosis to data from eight global randomised trials that required baseline biopsy, and identified new cutoffs aiming for a sensitivity for detection of cirrhosis greater than 90% and a negative predictive value (NPV) of greater than 95% in the same dataset. We externally validated the new cutoffs using data from all consecutive biopsied patients from two tertiary referral hospitals in the Netherlands and Canada. Findings: In the derivation dataset (n=2926; of whom 1750 were Asian); 340 (12%) individuals had cirrhosis. The validation cohort consisted of 1034 individuals (of whom 575 were Asian), with 155 (15%) individuals with cirrhosis. Application of conventional cutoffs for FIB-4 in the derivation dataset yielded unclassifiable results in 686 (23%) individuals, and 139 (41%) of the 340 patients with cirrhosis were misclassified as having no cirrhosis. Similarly, conventional cutoffs for APRI in the derivation dataset yielded unclassifiable results in 706 (24%) individuals, and 153 (45%) were misclassified as having no cirrhosis. An APRI of 0·45 or less had sensitivity of 91·5%, an NPV of 95·4%, and misclassified 29 (9%) of 340 individuals with cirrhosis in the derivation dataset, but performance was reduced in the validation set (22 [14%] of 155 individuals with cirrhosis misclassified). A FIB-4 score of 0·70 had a sensitivity of 90·9%, an NPV of 96·6%, and misclassified 31 (9%) of individuals with cirrhosis in the derivation dataset. In the validation cohort, the same score gave a sensitivity of 94·2%, an NPV of 97·3%, and misclassified nine (6%) of the individuals with cirrhosis. Subgroup analysis indicated that the new FIB-4 cutoff performed acceptably in all subgroups except for individuals aged 30 years or younger. Interpretation: Conventional cutoffs for APRI and FIB-4 should not be used to guide management of patients with chronic hepatitis B due to high rates of misclassification. A newly identified and externally validated cutoff for FIB-4 (≤0·70) can be used to exclude cirrhosis in patients over 30 years of age. Funding: Foundation for Liver and Gastrointestinal Research, Rotterdam, Netherlands.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)538-544
JournalThe Lancet Gastroenterology and Hepatology
Volume4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2019

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