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      Noninvasive biomarkers FibroTest and ActiTest versus liver biopsy in chronic hepatitis C patients: the Middle East experience

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          The aim of this study was to compare noninvasive biomarkers, FibroTest and ActiTest in predicting fibrosis stage and inflammation grade in chronic hepatitis C (CHC) patients with liver biopsy (LB).


          In 107 patients with CHC, levels of six serum biomarkers (alanine aminotransferase, γ-glutamyl transpeptidase, total bilirubin, haptoglobin, apolipoprotein, α-2 macroglobulin) were determined at the time of LB. LB was evaluated by Metavir score for fibrosis and inflammation. Voluntary blood donors (n=106) were taken as controls for the study.


          Fibrosis estimated by Fibrotest was significantly higher in patients compared to control group. The observed area under the receiver operating characteristic curve (AUROC) for advanced fibrosis (F3, F4) adjusted according to the observed difference between advanced and non-advanced fibrosis prevalence (DANA) was 0.80 (0.69-0.88) and the AUROC for cirrhosis (F4) was 0.94 (0.86-0.98). ActiTest AUROC for moderate to severe activity (A2A3) was 0.72 (0.61-0.81), and for severe activity (A3) was 0.88 (0.78-0.93). The diagnostic values in the group of good quality biopsy (n=41) showed Fibrotest AUROC (DANA-adjusted): for advanced fibrosis 0.90 (0.72-0.99); for cirrhosis 0.93 (0.76-0.98); and ctiTest AUROC: for moderate/severe activity 0.86 (0.67-0.94); and for severe activity 0.90 (0.76-0.93). There was good concordance between FibroTest and LB (with discordance for two or more stages in <20% for advanced fibrosis and <10% for cirrhosis) and between ActiTest and LB. Specificity for FibroTest and ActiTest in the control population were 95% and 100% respectively.


          Fibrotest and ActiTest had high observed and standardized diagnostic values for predicting fibrosis and activity respectively.

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          Most cited references 29

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          An algorithm for the grading of activity in chronic hepatitis C. The METAVIR Cooperative Study Group.

           P Bedossa,  T Poynard (1996)
          Histological activity reflects the global assessment of basic necroinflammatory lesions and is a criterion of major importance in chronic hepatitis C. The aim of this study was to propose and test the accuracy of a simple algorithm that generates a single activity score based on basic pathological features. A panel of 10 pathologists reviewed 363 chronic hepatitis C liver biopsies and graded the activity of hepatitis according to their own experience (reference activity). Then, a consensual algorithm on the grading of activity was established by the 10 experts in a panel discussion. Finally, stepwise discriminant analysis was performed to define which basic features had been intuitively used in the reference activity (statistical activity). To test the accuracy of the algorithm, concordance between the activity defined by the algorithm and the reference activity was assessed. It was compared with concordance between the activity defined by the statistical model and the reference activity. The algorithm proposed by the panel for the grading of activity included piecemeal necrosis and lobular necrosis. Concordance between reference activity and activity defined by the algorithm was substantial (305 cases, 84%, kappa = .75). Discriminant analysis showed that piecemeal necrosis, lobular necrosis, and portal inflammation were independently used to grade the activity. Concordance between reference activity and activity defined by the statistical model was substantial (300 cases, 83%, kappa = .73), virtually identical to the concordance between reference activity and activity defined by algorithm. This study proposes a simple algorithm for the grading of activity in chronic hepatitis. Its accuracy is as high as that obtained using a statistical approach.
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            Sampling error and intraobserver variation in liver biopsy in patients with chronic HCV infection.

            Needle liver biopsy has been shown to have a high rate of sampling error in patients with diffuse parenchymal liver diseases. In these cases, the sample of liver tissue does not reflect the true degree of inflammation, fibrosis, or cirrhosis, despite an adequate sample size. The aim of this study was to determine the rate and extent of sampling error in patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection, and to assess the intraobserver variation with the commonly used scoring system proposed by Scheuer and modified by Batts and Ludwig. A total of 124 patients with chronic hepatitis C virus infection underwent simultaneous laparoscopy-guided biopsies of the right and left hepatic lobes. Formalin-fixed paraffin-embedded sections were stained with hematoxylin and eosin and with trichrome. The slides were blindly coded and randomly divided among two hepatopathologists. Inflammation and fibrosis were scored according to the standard grading (inflammation) and staging (fibrosis) method based on the modified Scheuer system. Following the interpretation, the slides were uncoded to compare the results of the right and left lobes. Fifty of the samples were blindly resubmitted to each of the pathologists to determine the intraobserver variation. Thirty of 124 patients (24.2%) had a difference of at least one grade, and 41 of 124 patients (33.1%) had a difference of at least one stage between the right and left lobes. In 18 patients (14.5%), interpretation of cirrhosis was given in one lobe, whereas stage 3 fibrosis was given in the other. A difference of two stages or two grades was found in only three (2.4%) and two (1.6%) patients, respectively. Of the 50 samples that were examined twice, the grading by each pathologist on the second examination differed from the first examination in 0% and 4%, and the staging differed in 6% and 10%, respectively. All observed variations were of one grade or one stage. Liver biopsy samples taken from the right and left hepatic lobes differed in histological grading and staging in a large proportion of chronic hepatitis C virus patients; however, differences of more than one stage or grade were uncommon. A sampling error may have led to underdiagnosis of cirrhosis in 14.5% of the patients. These differences could not be attributed to intraobserver variation, which appeared to be low.
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              EASL Clinical Practice Guidelines: management of hepatitis C virus infection.


                Author and article information

                Ann Gastroenterol
                Ann Gastroenterol
                Annals of Gastroenterology : Quarterly Publication of the Hellenic Society of Gastroenterology
                Hellenic Society of Gastroenterology (Greece )
                Apr-Jun 2015
                : 28
                : 2
                : 265-270
                [a ]Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology (Rafie Yakoob, Ragesh Babu Thandassery, Moutaz F. Derbala, Muneera J. Al Mohannadi, Anil K. John, Manik Sharma, Hamidulla Wani, Saad Al Kaabi), Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar
                [b ]Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathology (Issam Al Bozom), Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar
                [c ]Department of Biochemistry (Mohamed Osman Abdel Rahman), Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar
                Author notes
                Correspondence to: Ragesh Babu Thandassery, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Hamad General Hospital, Doha, Qatar, e-mail: doc.ragesh@

                Guarantor of the article: Rafie Yakoob

                Copyright: © Hellenic Society of Gastroenterology

                This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 Unported, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

                Original Article

                hepatitis c virus, liver biopsy, actitest, fibrotest


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