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A comparison of magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) to biomarker testing for staging fibrosis in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD)

Kaplan, Joseph M; Alexis, Jamil; Grimaldi, Gregory; Islam, Mohammed; Izard, Stephanie M; Lee, Tai-Ping
BACKGROUND/UNASSIGNED:Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the world's most prevalent chronic liver disease. In advanced stages, it is associated with significant morbidity and mortality. Magnetic resonance elastography (MRE) and scoring panels Fibrosis-4 (FIB-4) and NAFLD Fibrosis Score (NFS) are useful noninvasive alternatives to liver biopsy for fibrosis staging. Our study aimed to determine how well MRE corresponds with both FIB-4 and NFS at different stages of fibrosis. METHODS/UNASSIGNED:We performed a retrospective chart review of patients age ≥18 with NAFLD as their only known liver disease who underwent MRE within six months of a lab draw. MRE stratified patients into fibrosis stages using kPa values. FIB-4 categorized patients as Advanced Fibrosis Excluded, Further Investigation Needed or Advanced Fibrosis Likely. NFS categorized them as F0-2, Indeterminate or F3-4. MRE fibrosis staging was compared to FIB-4 and NFS for both ruling out advanced fibrosis and identifying advanced fibrosis/cirrhosis. RESULTS/UNASSIGNED:Overall, 193 patients met inclusion criteria. Our statistical analysis included calculating positive predictive values (PPVs) and negative predictive values (NPVs), which are the proportions of positive and negative fibrosis screening results that correspond to positive and negative MRE results respectively. NPV for FIB-4 (0.84) and NFS (0.89) in the 'rule out advanced fibrosis' category signify that 84% and 89% of respective biomarker scores correspond to MRE in early stage disease. The PPV for FIB-4 and NFS in the 'identify advanced fibrosis/cirrhosis' category signify 63% and 72% of respective biomarker scores correspond to MRE in late stage disease. CONCLUSIONS/UNASSIGNED:FIB-4 and NFS scores indicating little to no fibrosis correspond extremely well with MRE, while scores suggesting advanced fibrosis/cirrhosis correspond less convincingly. MRE shows promise as an effective alternative to liver biopsy, however our study suggests FIB-4 and NFS alone may be sufficient for fibrosis staging, particularly in early stage NAFLD.
PMID: 36704653
ISSN: 2415-1289
CID: 5482822