Background & Aims: Further histological subclassification of cirrhosis may be useful because of heterogeneity of severity within cirrhosis. We aimed to determine the relationship between histological subclassification and clinical stage of cirrhosis as well as grade of portal hypertension. Methods: One hundred-twenty-three biopsy-proven cirrhosis patients, whose clinical stage of cirrhosis and hepatic venous pressure gradient (HVPG) could be estimated, were included in this prospective study. Histology of cirrhosis was blindly subclassified using the Laennec fibrosis scoring system semi-quantitatively without knowledge of the clinical stage or the HVPG results. The Laennec system subclassifies cirrhosis as mild - thin septa, moderate - at least two broad septa, and severe - at least one very broad septum or many minute nodules. Clinical stages were determined by the presence or absence of varices, ascites, and variceal hemorrhage. Biological and laboratory data were also collected. Results: Alcohol intake was the most common cause of cirrhosis in this cohort (87, 70.7%). Histology of cirrhosis subclassified using the Laennec scoring system significantly correlated with both the clinical stage of cirrhosis (p <0.001) and HVPG (mild: 8.1 ± 2.6 mm Hg, moderate: 12.4 ± 3.3 mm Hg, severe: 16.3 ± 4.0 mm Hg, p <0.001). With higher grades of histological subclassification of cirrhosis, increased frequency in both severe portal hypertension (HVPG ≥12 mm Hg) and episodes of variceal hemorrhage were observed (p <0.001). Conclusions: Histological subclassification of cirrhosis by the Laennec fibrosis scoring system is tightly correlated with both the clinical stage of cirrhosis and grade of portal hypertension. This suggests that cirrhosis should be subclassified into different stages according to its histological severity.
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