Division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA, USA.
It is important to assess the stage of liver fibrosis in chronic hepatitis C to guide treatment decisions. Liver biopsy has limitations in staging fibrosis. Several blood tests, algorithms, and imaging tests have been studied as noninvasive markers to stage fibrosis in hepatitis C. In patients without suspicion for cirrhosis, 2 noninvasive methods can be used to predict presence of absence of significant liver fibrosis; however, liver biopsy remains the gold standard. It is imperative not to miss the diagnosis of cirrhosis, because this has further implications for screening of hepatocellular carcinoma and varices.