Background/Aims: Liver stiffness (LS) was assessed using transient elastography, and the enhanced liver fibrosis (ELF) test was performed to accurately assess fibrotic burden. We validated the LS-ELF algorithm and investigated whether the sequential LS-ELF algorithm performs better than concurrent combination of these analyses in chronic hepatitis B (CHB) patients. Methods: Between 2009 and 2013, 222 CHB patients who underwent liver biopsy (LB), as well as LS measurement and the ELF test, were enrolled. Results: Advanced fibrosis (≥F3) and cirrhosis (F4) were identified in 141 (63.6%) and 118 (53.2%) patients, respectively. Areas under receiver operating characteristic curve for LS predictions of ≥F3 (0.887 vs 0.703) and F4 (0.853 vs 0.706) were significantly higher than the ELF test (all p<0.001). Based on the LS-ELF algorithm, 60.4% to 71.6% and 55.7% to 66.3% of patients could have avoided LB to exclude ≥F3 and F4, respectively, whereas 68.0% to 78.7% and 63.5% to 66.1% of patients could have avoided LB to confirm ≥F3 and F4, respectively. When confirmation and exclusion strategies were applied simultaneously, 69.4% to 72.5% and 60.8% to 65.3% of patients could have avoided LB and been diagnosed as ≥F3 and F4, respectively. The proportion of patients who correctly avoided LB for the prediction of ≥F3 (69.4% to 72.5% vs 42.3% to 59.0%) and F4 (60.8% to 65.3% vs 23.9% to 49.5%) based on the sequential LS-ELF algorithm was significantly higher than the concurrent combination (all p<0.05). Conclusions: The sequential LS-ELF algorithm conferred a greater probability of avoiding LB in CHB patients to diagnose advanced fibrosis and cirrhosis, and this test performed significantly better than the concurrent combination. (Gut Liver 2018;12:190-200).
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