Fibroindex, a practical index for predicting significant fibrosis in patients with chronic hepatitis C


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Diagnosis of the stage of liver fibrosis in chronic hepatitis C is essential for making a prognosis and deciding on antiviral therapy. In the present study a simple model consisting of routine laboratory tests was constructed and then validated in cross-sectional and longitudinal investigations. Consecutive treatment-naive patients with chronic hepatitis C who had undergone liver biopsy were divided into 2 cohorts: an estimation set (n = 240) and a validation set (n = 120). A longitudinal set consisted of 30 patients who had undergone a liver biopsy twice, before and after IFN treatment. The FibroIndex was derived from the platelet count, AST, and gamma globulin measurements in the estimation set. The areas under the ROC curves of the FibroIndex for predicting significant fibrosis were 0.83 and 0.82 for the validation set, better than those of the Forns index and the aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index (APRI). Using the best cutoff values, whether significant fibrosis was present was diagnosed with high positive predictive values, and 35% of patients could avoid liver biopsy. In the longitudinal set, there was a significant decrease in the FibroIndex of 14 patients whose fibrosis stage improved, and a significant increase in that of 5 patients whose fibrosis stage deteriorated. Change in the FibroIndex correlated significantly with variation in fibrosis stage. There was no such correlation with the Forns index or the APRI. Conclusion: The FibroIndex is a simple and reliable index for predicting significant fibrosis in chronic hepatitis C and could also be used as a surrogate marker during antifibrotic treatment for chronic hepatitis C. (HEPATOLOGY 2007;45:297–306.)