GOAL: To investigate the performance of liver stiffness measurement (LSM) in combination with available noninvasive markers in hepatitis B virus-related chronic liver disease. BACKGROUND: Few noninvasive methods are available for predicting liver cirrhosis in chronic hepatitis B (CHB). STUDY: Between January 2006 and June 2007, we studied 130 consecutive treatment-naive CHB patients who underwent liver biopsy (LB) and LSM. The aspartate to alanine aminotransferase ratio, age-platelet index (API), aspartate aminotransferase to platelet ratio index (APRI), LSM, and their combinations were compared with liver histology. RESULTS: The API, APRI, and LSM, but not the aspartate to alanine aminotransferase ratio, correlated significantly with liver cirrhosis (all P<0.001). The diagnostic accuracy of LSM and API exceed that of the other diagnostic methods for predicting liver cirrhosis (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve=0.840 and 0.818). When LSM was combined with API and APRI, the diagnostic accuracy was improved markedly (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve =0.871, and 0.846). When both LSM and API results were in agreement, LB confirmed them in 89.1% (41/46) of cases for liver cirrhosis. LB could have been avoided in 41 (31.5%) of the 130 patients who were examined for the potential diagnosis of liver cirrhosis. CONCLUSIONS: The combination of LSM and API can avoid unnecessary invasive LB procedures in CHB patients.
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