BACKGROUND: The aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index (APRI), a tool with limited expense and widespread availability, is a promising noninvasive alternative to liver biopsy for detecting hepatic fibrosis. The objective of this study was to systematically review the performance of the APRI in predicting significant fibrosis and cirrhosis in hepatitis B-related fibrosis.
METHODS: Areas under summary receiver operating characteristic curves (AUROC), sensitivity and specificity were used to examine the accuracy of the APRI for the diagnosis of hepatitis B-related significant fibrosis and cirrhosis. Heterogeneity was explored using meta-regression.
RESULTS: Nine studies were included in this meta-analysis (n=1,798). Prevalence of significant fibrosis and cirrhosis were 53.1% and 13.5%, respectively. The summary AUCs of the APRI for significant fibrosis and cirrhosis were 0.79 and 0.75, respectively. For significant fibrosis, an APRI threshold of 0.5 was 84% sensitive and 41% specific. At the cutoff of 1.5, the summary sensitivity and specificity were 49% and 84%, respectively. For cirrhosis, an APRI threshold of 1.0-1.5 was 54% sensitive and 78% specific. At the cutoff of 2.0, the summary sensitivity and specificity were 28% and 87%, respectively. Meta-regression analysis indicated that the APRI accuracy for both significant fibrosis and cirrhosis was affected by histological classification systems, but not influenced by the interval between Biopsy & APRI or blind biopsy.
CONCLUSION: Our meta-analysis suggests that APRI show limited value in identifying hepatitis B-related significant fibrosis and cirrhosis.