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Clin J Am Soc Nephrol. 2011 May;6(5):1057-65. doi: 10.2215/CJN.04320510. Epub 2011 Mar 10.

Transient elastography to assess hepatic fibrosis in hemodialysis chronic hepatitis C patients.

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  • 1Department of Internal Medicine, National Taiwan University College of Medicine and National Taiwan University Hospital, Taipei, Taiwan.



Although percutaneous liver biopsy (PLB) is the gold standard for staging hepatic fibrosis in hemodialysis patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC) before renal transplantation or antiviral therapy, concerns exist about serious postbiopsy complications. Using transient elastography (TE, Fibroscan(®)) to predict the severity of hepatic fibrosis has not been prospectively evaluated in these patients.


A total of 284 hemodialysis patients with CHC were enrolled. TE and aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index (APRI) were performed before PLB. The severity of hepatic fibrosis was staged by METAVIR scores ranging from F0 to F4. Receiver operating characteristic curves were used to assess the diagnostic accuracy of TE and APRI, taking PLB as the reference standard.


The areas under curves of TE were higher than those of APRI in predicting patients with significant hepatic fibrosis (≥F2) (0.96 versus 0.84, P<0.001), those with advanced hepatic fibrosis (≥F3) (0.98 versus 0.93, P=0.04), and those with cirrhosis (F4) (0.99 versus 0.92, P=0.13). Choosing optimized liver stiffness measurements of 5.3, 8.3, and 9.2 kPa had high sensitivity (93-100%) and specificity (88-99%), and 87, 97, and 93% of the patients with a fibrosis stage of ≥F2, ≥F3, and F4 were correctly diagnosed without PLB, respectively.


TE is superior to APRI in assessing the severity of hepatic fibrosis and can substantially decrease the need of staging PLB in hemodialysis patients with CHC.

Copyright © 2011 by the American Society of Nephrology

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