Objectives: To evaluate the impact of intrahepatic cholestasis on liver fibrosis staging using liver stiffness measurements (LSM). Methods: Between July 2011 and September 2016, a total of 1197 patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB) infection were enrolled to collect clinical, biological, 2D shear wave elastography (SWE), and histological (METAVIR scoring system) data. LSM was compared in patients with normal total bilirubin (TB) versus abnormal TB for each group of fibrosis stage, alanine aminotransferase (ALT) levels, and inflammation grade. Logistic regression and ROC analyses were performed to assess the benefit of adding TB and to LSM for fibrosis staging. Results: Nine hundred and seventy-three patients were analyzed. Within the same fibrosis stage, LSMs showed significantly higher value in patients with abnormal TB than those with normal TB. Increased LSM for abnormal TB was generally found within different sub-groups of patients (≤ F2 or ≥ F3; ALT < 2 × upper limit of normal (ULN) or ALT ≥ 2 × ULN; METAVIR activity grade ≤ 1 or ≥ 2). Patients with abnormal TB level showed higher optimal cutoff values: 10.46 kPa for ≥ F2, 10.94 kPa for ≥ F3, and 15.88 kPa for F4, than those with normal TB (7.62 kPa, 8.26 kPa, and 11.01 kPa, respectively). LSM assessed fibrosis stage (≥ F2, ≥ F3, F4) showed higher false positive rate in patients with abnormal TB level (44.6%, 45.1%, 39.6%) than those with normal TB (20.7%, 17.1%, 14.4%). However, the area under the ROC curve did not change appreciably when adding TB to LSM for fibrosis stage. Conclusion: Intrahepatic cholestasis showed slight effect on LSM in patients with CHB, also leading to overestimation of liver fibrosis stages. But adding TB level to LSM did not improve the overall diagnostic performance of liver fibrosis stage. Key Points: • Intrahepatic cholestasis showed slight effect on liver stiffness measurements (LSMs) in chronic HBV patients. • Patients with abnormal total bilirubin (TB) level showed higher optimal cutoff values and false positive rate. • When taking into account intrahepatic cholestasis, the diagnostic performance of LSM for liver fibrosis staging in patients with chronic HBV infection will not improve.
- Diagnostic ultrasound
- Hepatitis B virus infection
- Liver fibrosis
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging