Accuracy of transient elastography in the assessment of chronic hepatitis C-related liver cirrhosis

Hai-Yan Ying, Lun-Gen Lu, Da-Dao Jing, Xiu-Shi Ni


Purpose: Staging liver cirrhosis is essential for the management of chronic hepatitis C (CHC). The current meta-analysis evaluated the accuracy of transient elastography for detecting liver cirrhosis in patients with CHC.

Methods: Either prospective or retrospective studies, including cohort and cross sectional studies, in patients diagnosed with chronic hepatitis C, as assessed by transient elastography, were searched from Medline, Cochrane, EMBASE, and Google Scholar databases until March 3, 2015, using the terms “transient elastography, chronic hepatitis C and liver cirrhosis”. The primary outcome analyzed was the diagnostic performance, which included sensitivity, specificity, diagnostic odds ratio and area under the receiver-operating characteristic (ROC) curve.

Results: Data from 24 articles included in the meta-analysis demonstrated high sensitivity (84%) and specificity (90%) of transient elastography (TE) for assessing liver cirrhosis patients with HCV. Subgroup analysis of patients by underlying diseases revealed a sensitivity and specificity of 91% and 92% (HCV alone), 100% and 75% (HCV-liver transplant), 83.6% and 89.7% (HIV/HCV co-infection) and 97.1% and 90.7% (recurrent CHC after liver transplantation). The pooled diagnostic odds ratio was 61.57 (95% CI, 39.5 - 96.00) and the area under the summary ROC curves was 0.952 ± 0.008, suggesting high diagnostic accuracy of TE.

Conclusion: Transient elastography can accurately predict liver cirrhosis in patients with hepatitis C, with a sensitivity and specificity of 84% and 90%, respectively. The present results further validate the utility of TE in staging liver cirrhosis in chronic HCV infections.

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