BACKGROUND & AIMS:
Chronic liver diseases (CLD) are common, and are therefore mainly managed by non-hepatologists. These physicians lack access to the best non-invasive tests of liver fibrosis, and consequently cannot accurately determine the disease severity. Referral to a hepatologist is then needed. We aimed to implement an algorithm, comprising a new first-line test usable by all physicians, for the detection of advanced liver fibrosis in all CLD patients.
Diagnostic study: 3754 CLD patients with liver biopsy were 2:1 randomized into derivation and validation sets. Prognostic study: longitudinal follow-up of 1275 CLD patients with baseline fibrosis tests.
Diagnostic study: the easy liver fibrosis test (eLIFT), an "at-a-glance" sum of points attributed to age, gender, gamma-glutamyl transferase, aspartate aminotransferase (AST), platelets and prothrombin time, was developed for the diagnosis of advanced fibrosis. In the validation set, eLIFT and fibrosis-4 (FIB4) had the same sensitivity (78.0% vs. 76.6%, p=0.470) but eLIFT gave fewer false positive results, especially in patients ≥60years old (53.8% vs. 82.0%, p<0.001), and was thus more suitable as screening test. FibroMeter with vibration controlled transient elastography (VCTE) was the most accurate among the eight fibrosis tests evaluated. The sensitivity of the eLIFT-FMVCTE algorithm (first-line eLIFT, second-line FibroMeterVCTE) was 76.1% for advanced fibrosis and 92.1% for cirrhosis. Prognostic study: patients diagnosed as having "no/mild fibrosis" by the algorithm had excellent liver-related prognosis with thus no need for referral to a hepatologist.
The eLIFT-FMVCTE algorithm extends the detection of advanced liver fibrosis to all CLD patients and reduces unnecessary referrals of patients without significant CLD to hepatologists.
Blood fibrosis tests and transient elastography accurately diagnose advanced liver fibrosis in the large population of patients having chronic liver disease, but these non-invasive tests are only currently available in specialized centers. We have developed an algorithm including the easy liver fibrosis test (eLIFT), a new simple and widely available blood test. It is used as a first-line procedure that selects at-risk patients who need further evaluation with the FibroMeterVCTE, an accurate fibrosis test combining blood markers and transient elastography result. This new algorithm, called the eLIFT-FMVCTE, accurately identifies the patients with advanced chronic liver disease who need referral to a specialist, and those with no or mild liver lesions who can remain under the care of their usual physician.