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J Hepatol. 2012 Jan;56(1):55-62. doi: 10.1016/j.jhep.2011.05.024. Epub 2011 Jul 23.

Comparison of nine blood tests and transient elastography for liver fibrosis in chronic hepatitis C: the ANRS HCEP-23 study.

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Clinique Universitaire d'Hépato-Gastroentérologie-Pôle DIGIDUNE-CHU de Grenoble, France.



Blood tests and transient elastography (Fibroscan™) have been developed as alternatives to liver biopsy. This ANRS HCEP-23 study compared the diagnostic accuracy of nine blood tests and transient elastography (Fibroscan™) to assess liver fibrosis, vs. liver biopsy, in untreated patients with chronic hepatitis C (CHC).


This was a multicentre prospective independent study in 19 French University hospitals of consecutive adult patients having simultaneous liver biopsy, biochemical blood tests (performed in a centralized laboratory) and Fibroscan™. Two experienced pathologists independently reviewed the liver biopsies (mean length=25±8.4 mm). Performance was assessed using ROC curves corrected by Obuchowski's method.


Fibroscan™ was not interpretable in 113 (22%) patients. In the 382 patients having both blood tests and interpretable Fibroscan™, Fibroscan™ performed similarly to the best blood tests for the diagnosis of significant fibrosis and cirrhosis. Obuchowski's measure showed Fibrometer® (0.86), Fibrotest® (0.84), Hepascore® (0.84), and interpretable Fibroscan™ (0.84) to be the most accurate tests. The combination of Fibrotest®, Fibrometer®, or Hepascore® with Fibroscan™ or Apri increases the percentage of well classified patients from 70-73% to 80-83% for significant fibrosis, but for cirrhosis a combination offers no improvement. For the 436 patients having all the blood tests, AUROC's ranged from 0.82 (Fibrometer®) to 0.75 (Hyaluronate) for significant fibrosis, and from 0.89 (Fibrometer® and Hepascore®) to 0.83 (FIB-4) for cirrhosis.


Contrarily to blood tests, performance of Fibroscan™ was reduced due to uninterpretable results. Fibrotest®, interpretable Fibroscan™, Fibrometer®, and Hepascore® perform best and similarly for diagnosis of significant fibrosis and cirrhosis.

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