Liver Biopsy and FibroScan to Detect Early Histopathological Changes in Chronic HBV Patients Not Candidate for Treatment

Sahar Maklad, Gamal Esmat, Ehsan Hassan, Mohamed Attalah, Alaa Abou Zeid


Background: We aimed at evaluating liver biopsy and FibroScan (FS) to assess early histopathological changes among chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) patients not candidates for treatment.

Methods: One hundred thirty-five chronic hepatitis B naive patients were followed up twice weekly at National Hepatology and Tropical Medicine Research Institute. All patients were not candidates for treatment according to both Egyptian and international guidelines. Pre-enrollment assessment was performed through biochemical, serological and quantitative HBV DNA testing. Liver biopsy was performed to 59 patients based on the guidelines while FS was performed to patients who were not candidates for liver biopsy (102 patients). Twenty-six patients performed both liver biopsy and FS (isolated liver biopsy 33 patients and isolated FS 76 patients).

Results: At the end of study period, liver biopsy group showed that majority of subjects had grade F1 fibrosis (61.0%). Only 13.6% were F3. FS showed that almost half (47.1%) of subjects had a grade of F0 and 21.6% with grade F1. Only 4.9% of subjects had fibrosis grades of F3 or F4. In each test, nearly two-thirds of patients had evidence of F0/F1 fibrosis and the remaining one-third had more marked fibrosis. The degree of fibrosis as detected by both liver biopsy and FS was directly related to alanine aminotransferase (ALT), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), S. albumin and prothrombin. Patients with advanced fibrosis had significantly higher ALT and AST, while their S. albumin and prothrombin were significantly lower than those with minimal fibrosis.

Conclusion: FS study requires further validation in HBV but could be confidently used at the present time as a predictor for the degree of hepatic fibrosis in chronic HBV patients. Liver biopsy could be spared for cases that present with elevated liver functions and/or marked impairment of synthetic liver functions.

Gastroenterology Research. 2014;7(2):56-63


HBV; Egypt; Liver biopsy; FibroScan

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