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Noninvasive ways to assess liver disease
Date:2/1/2008

eliminate the need for liver biopsy in diagnosing severe fibrosis in more than 80 percent of cases.

The ELF panel has good diagnostic accuracy in an independent validation cohort of patients with NAFLD, the authors conclude. The addition of established simple markers augments the diagnostic performance across different stages of fibrosis, which will potentially allow superior stratification of patients with NAFLD for emerging therapeutic strategies.

Meanwhile, researchers in Germany led by Abdurrahman Sagir used transient elastographyFibroscan (FS)to measure liver stiffness in 20 patients presenting with acute hepatitis. In 15 (75 percent) of the patients, the test showed liver stiffness values that suggested cirrhosis. However, none of these patients showed any signs of cirrhosis in a physical exam, on ultrasound, or in liver histology.

Liver stiffness measurement by FS in patients with acute liver damage overestimate the real stage of fibrosis and may erroneously suggest the presence of liver cirrhosis, the authors report. The stiffness may relate to hepatocyte swelling, cholestasis, or infiltrates of inflammatory cells in the inflamed liver, they suggest.

FS results need to be interpreted with caution in patients with acute liver damage and high values of liver stiffness do not predict the simultaneous presence of cirrhosis in these patients, they conclude.

Both studies offer new information on the ability of non-invasive methods to diagnose liver disease, though further studies are needed to advance our understanding of these diagnostic tools.


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Contact: Amy Molnar
amolnar@wiley.com
Wiley-Blackwell
Source:Eurekalert

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