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J Viral Hepat. 2009 Mar;16(3):178-86. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2893.2008.01062.x. Epub 2008 Oct 24.

An independent and prospective comparison of two commercial fibrosis marker panels (HCV FibroSURE and FIBROSpect II) during albinterferon alfa-2b combination therapy for chronic hepatitis C.

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Duke Clinical Research Institute and Duke University Medical Center, Durham, NC 27715, USA.


Noninvasive markers that accurately follow changes in fibrosis may provide alternatives to liver biopsy for assessment of histological endpoints of antiviral therapy in chronic hepatitis C (CHC). This study compared two commercially available serum marker panels (HCV FibroSURE and FIBROSpect II) during interferon-based therapy. Ninety-five interferon-naïve patients with genotype 1 CHC were enrolled in a phase 2b, active-controlled study of albinterferon alfa-2b/ribavirin for 48 weeks. Proprietary and simple biochemical marker panels were independently evaluated in serum before and during the study. Baseline liver biopsies were evaluated for METAVIR fibrosis by a single pathologist. Index scores were obtained for HCV FibroSURE (n = 84) and FIBROSpect II (n = 95); mean biopsy length: 17.8 +/- 8.0 mm. For detecting fibrosis stages 2-4 (prevalence 23% [22/95] and 21% [18/84]), HCV FibroSURE and FIBROSpect II indicated high sensitivity (1.00 and 0.95, respectively), lower but comparable specificity (0.61 and 0.66, respectively), and a good area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (0.89 and 0.90, respectively). Simple indices had high indeterminate rates (31-40%) at baseline. Patients with a sustained virological response had lower baseline scores than nonresponders, and reduced median percent changes in index scores for HCV FibroSURE (-20.0%vs 2.9%; P = 0.14) and FIBROS Spect II (-6.8%vs 18.4%; P = 0.05). The panels demonstrated comparable performance characteristics for differentiating mild from moderate-severe stage disease in CHC. Lower index scores at baseline that continue to decline likely reflect reduced fibrogenesis activity in patients with successful antiviral responses to therapy.

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