*Department of Internal Medicine †Institute of Gastroenterology, Yonsei University College of Medicine ‡Liver Cirrhosis Clinical Research Center §Brain Korea 21 Project for Medical Science, Seoul, Korea.
We investigated whether liver stiffness (LS) values can predict liver-related events (LREs) development in patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB).
LS values using transient elastography provides accurate assessment of liver fibrosis in patients with chronic liver disease.
Between June 2007 and May 2010, a total of 162 patients with CHB who completed 2-year entecavir (ETV) treatment were evaluated. The primary endpoint was LRE development (hepatic decompensation, hepatocellular carcinoma, or liver-related death) during the 2-year ETV treatment.
The median age of the patients (99 men, 63 women) was 51 years, and the median LS value was 14.8 kPa. During the 2-year ETV treatment, 15 (9.3%) patients experienced LREs. On univariate analysis, age, the proportion of patients with liver cirrhosis, platelet counts, and baseline LS values were significantly associated with LRE development (all P<0.05). Together with age, multivariate analysis identified baseline LS values as an independent predictor of LRE development (P=0.046; hazard ratio, 1.040; 95% confidence interval, 1.101-1.084). The cutoff LS value maximizing the sum of sensitivity and specificity was 12.0 kPa (area under the receiver operating characteristics curve, 0.736; P=0.003; sensitivity, 93.3%; specificity, 42.2%). In addition, the changes in LS values between baseline and 1-year ETV treatment showed significant correlations with LRE development (P=0.030).
Our data suggest that LS values are predictive of LRE development during 2-year ETV treatment in patients with CHB. The potential role of LS value as a monitoring tool for predicting dynamic changes in the risk of LRE development during long-term ETV treatment should be investigated further.