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J Hepatol. 2010 Dec;53(6):1035-40. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2010.04.043. Epub 2010 Aug 12.

Assessment of liver fibrosis with transient elastography and FibroTest in patients treated with methotrexate for chronic inflammatory diseases: a case-control study.

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Inserm U853, Univ Bordeaux 2, Bordeaux F-33076, France.



Although methotrexate (MTX) is used in the effective treatment of inflammatory disorders, its use is hampered by the risk of liver fibrosis. Non-invasive methods for the diagnosis of liver fibrosis, such as transient elastography (FibroScan) and FibroTest could be useful for monitoring MTX-liver toxicity. The aim of this case-control study was to determine factors associated with liver fibrosis in a large cohort of patients requiring MTX.


Consecutive adults with various benign inflammatory diseases were prospectively assessed using FibroScan and FibroTest when they were treated with MTX (cases) or before beginning treatment (controls).


Among 518 included patients, 44 patients (8.5%) had FibroScan and/or FibroTest results suggesting severe liver fibrosis. In a multivariate analysis, factors associated with abnormal markers of liver fibrosis were the body mass index >28 kg/m(2) and high alcohol consumption. Neither long MTX duration nor cumulative doses were associated with elevated FibroScan or FibroTest results.


Severe liver fibrosis is a rare event in patients treated with MTX and is probably unrelated to the total dose. Patients with other risk factors for liver disease should be closely monitored with non-invasive methods before and during MTX treatment.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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