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JAMA. 2012 Feb 22;307(8):832-42. doi: 10.1001/jama.2012.186.

Does this patient with liver disease have cirrhosis?

Author information

  • 1TIMI Study Group, Cardiovascular Division, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital, 75 Francis St, Boston, MA 02115, USA. judell@partners.org

Abstract

CONTEXT:

Among adult patients with liver disease, the ability to identify those most likely to have cirrhosis noninvasively is challenging.

OBJECTIVE:

To identify simple clinical indicators that can exclude or detect cirrhosis in adults with known or suspected liver disease.

DATA SOURCES:

We searched MEDLINE and EMBASE (1966 to December 2011) and reference lists from retrieved articles, previous reviews, and physical examination textbooks.

STUDY SELECTION:

We retained 86 studies of adequate quality that evaluated the accuracy of clinical findings for identifying histologically proven cirrhosis.

DATA EXTRACTION:

Two authors independently abstracted data (sensitivity, specificity, and likelihood ratios [LRs]) and assessed methodological quality. Random-effects meta-analyses were used to calculate summary LRs across studies.

RESULTS:

Among the 86 studies, 19,533 patients were included in this meta-analysis, among whom 4725 had biopsy-proven cirrhosis (prevalence rate, 24%; 95% CI, 20%-28%). Many physical examination and simple laboratory tests increase the likelihood of cirrhosis, though the presence of ascites (LR, 7.2; 95% CI, 2.9-12), a platelet count <160 x 10(3)/μL (LR, 6.3; 95% CI, 4.3-8.3), spider nevi (LR, 4.3; 95% CI 2.4-6.2), or a combination of simple laboratory tests with the Bonacini cirrhosis discriminant score >7 (LR, 9.4; 95% CI, 2.6-37) are the most frequently studied, reliable, and informative results. For lowering the likelihood of cirrhosis, the most useful findings are a Lok index <0.2 (a score created from the platelet count, serum aspartate aminotransferase and alanine aminotransferase, and prothrombin international normalized ratio; LR, 0.09; 95% CI, 0.03-0.31); a platelet count ≥160 x 10(3)/μL (LR, 0.29; 95% CI, 0.20-0.39); or the absence of hepatomegaly (LR, 0.37; 95% CI, 0.24-0.51). The overall impression of the clinician was not as informative as the individual findings or laboratory combinations.

CONCLUSIONS:

For identifying cirrhosis, the presence of a variety of clinical findings or abnormalities in a combination of simple laboratory tests that reflect the underlying pathophysiology increase its likelihood. To exclude cirrhosis, combinations of normal laboratory findings are most useful.

PMID:
22357834
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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