Non-invasive prediction of forthcoming cirrhosis-related complications.
World J Gastroenterol. 2014 Mar 14;20(10):2613-2623
Authors: Kang W, Kim SU, Ahn SH
In patients with chronic liver diseases, identification of significant liver fibrosis and cirrhosis is essential for determining treatment strategies, assessing therapeutic response, and stratifying long-term prognosis. Although liver biopsy remains the reference standard for evaluating the extent of liver fibrosis in patients with chronic liver diseases, several non-invasive methods have been developed as alternatives to liver biopsies. Some of these non-invasive methods have demonstrated clinical accuracy for diagnosing significant fibrosis or cirrhosis in many cross-sectional studies with the histological fibrosis stage as a reference standard. However, non-invasive methods cannot be fully validated through cross-sectional studies since liver biopsy is not a perfect surrogate endpoint marker. Accordingly, recent studies have focused on assessing the performance of non-invasive methods through long-term, longitudinal, follow-up studies with solid clinical endpoints related to advanced stages of liver fibrosis and cirrhosis. As a result, current view is that these alternative methods can independently predict future cirrhosis-related complications, such as hepatic decompensation, liver failure, hepatocellular carcinoma, or liver-related death. The clinical role of non-invasive models seems to be shifting from a simple tool for predicting the extent of fibrosis to a surveillance tool for predicting future liver-related events. In this article, we will summarize recent longitudinal studies of non-invasive methods for predicting forthcoming complications related to liver cirrhosis and discuss the clinical value of currently available non-invasive methods based on evidence from the literature.
PMID: 24627597 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]