J Gastroenterol. 2013 Dec 15. [Epub ahead of print]
BACKGROUND: The FIB-4 index is a simple formula to predict liver fibrosis. This study aimed to evaluate the utility of the FIB-4 index and associated time-course changes as a predictor of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) development.
METHODS: A total of 171 chronic hepatitis C patients who underwent paired liver biopsies and 875 patients who underwent a single liver biopsy (validation group) were investigated during mean follow-up periods of 6.4 and 5.9 years, respectively. All patients had received interferon therapy and had not achieved a sustained virological response. Factors associated with HCC development were analyzed in these patients.
RESULTS: HCC developed in 30 patients in the paired biopsy group and 89 patients in the validation group. Univariate analysis demonstrated that the FIB-4 index >3.25 and change in the FIB-4 index per year (ΔFIB-4/year) ≥0.3 were predictive factors for HCC development in both groups. Multivariate analysis in the combined population revealed that these two factors were independent. The hazard ratio (HR) for the FIB-4 index >3.25 was 2.7 (p < 0.001) and ΔFIB-4/year ≥0.3 was 1.8 (p = 0.003). Patients with a FIB-4 index >3.25 and a ΔFIB-4/year ≥0.3 were defined as high risk, and those with a FIB-4 index ≤3.25 and a ΔFIB-4/year <0.3 were defined as low risk. The HR of HCC development in patients at high risk was 7.3 (95 % confidence interval 4.3-12.5, p < 0.001).
CONCLUSIONS: It was possible to define a group at high risk of developing HCC by intermittently measuring the FIB-4 index and considering time-course changes in this index.
PMID: 24337828 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]