Predictors of esophageal varices and first variceal bleeding in liver cirrhosis patients.

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Predictors of esophageal varices and first variceal bleeding in liver cirrhosis patients.

World J Gastroenterol. 2017 Jul 14;23(26):4806-4814

Authors: Kraja B, Mone I, Akshija I, Koçollari A, Prifti S, Burazeri G

Abstract
AIM: To assess "predictors" of esophageal varices (EV) and variceal bleeding using non-invasive markers in Albanian patients diagnosed with liver cirrhosis.
METHODS: One hundred thirty-nine newly diagnosed cirrhotic patients without variceal bleeding were included in this analysis. Model for end-stage liver disease (MELD), aspartate aminotransferase (AST) to alanine aminotransferase (ALT) ratio (AST/ALT), AST to platelet ratio index (APRI), platelet count to spleen diameter (PC/SD), fibrosis-4-index (FIB-4), fibrosis index (FI) and King's Score were measured for all participants. All patients underwent endoscopic assessment within two days of hospitalization. The major end point was the first esophageal variceal bleeding (EVB) event. The diagnostic performance of "predictors" for the presence of EV and EVB were assessed by sensitivity and specificity values obtained from the receiver operating characteristics procedure.
RESULTS: FIB-4 was the only strong and significant "predictor" of esophageal varices (multivariable-adjusted OR = 1.57 for one unit increment; 95%CI: 1.15-2.14). Furthermore, a cut-off value of 3.23 for FIB-4 was a significant predictor of esophageal varices, with a sensitivity of 72%, a specificity of 58% and a proportion of area under the curve (AUC) of 66% (P = 0.01). During the follow-up (median: 31.5 mo; interquartile range: 11-59 mo), 34 patients (24%) experienced a first EVB. FIB-4 was a poor predictor of EVB (the AUC was only 51%) for a cut-off value of 5.02. Furthermore, the AUC of AST/ALT, APRI, PC/SD, FI, MELD and King's Score ranged from 45% to 55%. None of the non-invasive markers turned out to be a useful predictor of EVB.
CONCLUSION: Despite the low diagnostic accuracy, FIB-4 appears the most efficient non-invasive liver fibrosis marker which can be used as an initial screening tool for cirrhotic patients.

PMID: 28765702 [PubMed - in process]

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