A.M. and A. Migliavacca Center for Liver Disease, First Division of Gastroenterology, Fondazione IRCCS Cà Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Università degli Studi di Milano, Milan, Italy.; Department of Pathology and INSERM U773, Beaujon Hospital, University Paris-Diderot, Clichy, France. Electronic address: firstname.lastname@example.org.
BACKGROUND & AIM:
Transient elastography (TE) is a validated non-invasive tool to evaluate hepatic fibrosis in patients with hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. Whether TE may sense changes of liver fibrosis following therapeutic HCV eradication has never been evaluated.
MATERIALS AND METHODS:
38 HCV cirrhotics with paired pre- and post-sustained virological response (SVR) liver biopsies (LB) underwent TE at the time of post-SVR LB. Liver fibrosis was staged with the METAVIR scoring system and the area of fibrosis (%) was assessed morphometrically.
Thirty-three patients had valid TE measurements after 61 (48-104) months from an SVR, and 20 (61%) of them had cirrhosis regression. On post-SVR LB, the median area of fibrosis was 2.3%, being significantly reduced from baseline (p<0.0001). Median TE value was 9.8 kPa being lower in regressed vs not regressed patients (9.1 kPa vs 12.9 kPa, p=0.01). TE was <12 kPa in 5 (38%) F4 patients and in 19 (95%) ⩽ F3 patients (p=0.0007). The diagnostic accuracy of TE for diagnosing F4 after treatment was 58% sensitivity, 90% specificity, 6.1 LR +, 0.4 LR-, AUROC 0.77. A significant correlation was found between TE and both fibrosis stage (r=0.56; p=0.001) and morphometry (r=0.56, p=0.001) as well as between fibrosis stage and area of fibrosis (r=0.72, p=0001).
Following therapeutic eradication of HCV, the predictive power of the viremic cut-off of 12 kPa was low as a consequence of liver remodelling and fibrosis reabsorption. LB still remains the only reliable approach to stage liver fibrosis following an SVR.