GOALS:: We investigated whether liver stiffness (LS) values can predict liver-related events (LREs) development in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB). BACKGROUND:: LS values using transient elastography provides accurate assessment of liver fibrosis in patients with chronic liver disease. METHODS:: Between June 2007 and May 2010, a total of 162 patients with CHB who completed 2-year entecavir (ETV) treatment were evaluated. The primary endpoint was LRE development (hepatic decompensation, hepatocellular carcinoma, or liver-related death) during the 2-year ETV treatment. RESULTS:: The median age of the patients (99 men, 63 women) was 51 years, and the median LS value was 14.8 kPa. During the 2-year ETV treatment, 15 (9.3%) patients experienced LREs. On univariate analysis, age, the proportion of patients with liver cirrhosis, platelet counts, and baseline LS values were significantly associated with LRE development (all P<0.05). Together with age, multivariate analysis identified baseline LS values as an independent predictor of LRE development (P=0.046; hazard ratio, 1.040; 95% confidence interval, 1.101-1.084). The cutoff LS value maximizing the sum of sensitivity and specificity was 12.0 kPa (area under the receiver operating characteristics curve, 0.736; P=0.003; sensitivity, 93.3%; specificity, 42.2%). In addition, the changes in LS values between baseline and 1-year ETV treatment showed significant correlations with LRE development (P=0.030). CONCLUSIONS:: Our data suggest that LS values are predictive of LRE development during 2-year ETV treatment in patients with CHB. The potential role of LS value as a monitoring tool for predicting dynamic changes in the risk of LRE development during long-term ETV treatment should be investigated further.
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