Non-Invasive Tests of Liver Fibrosis Help in Predicting the Development of Hepatocellular Carcinoma among Patients with NAFLD
Background: The potential role of non-invasive tests (NITs) for liver fibrosis for hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) prediction remains poorly known. Methods: Retrospective analysis of a NAFLD cohort from a single university hospital in Barcelona, Spain. Incidence rates and cumulative incidence for the overall cohort, as well as cirrhotic and non-cirrhotic patients were calculated. Logistic regression analyses were carried out to investigate risk factors of HCC. Results: From the entire cohort of 1040 patients, 996 patients (95.8%) were analyzed, in whom 35 cases of HCC were detected, of which 26 (72.4%) HCC incident cases were newly diagnosed during a median follow-up of 2.5 (1.9–3.6) years. Two-hundred and thirty-one (23.2%) were cirrhotic at baseline. With the exception of 2 (7.7%) cases of HCC, the rest were diagnosed in cirrhotic patients. Overall HCC cumulative incidence was 9.49 (95% CI 6.4–13.9) per 1000 person-years. The incidence rate for cirrhotic patients was 41.2 (95% CI 27.6–61.6) per 1000 person-years and 0.93 (95% CI 0.23–3.7) per 1000 person-years for patients without cirrhosis. Overall mortality was significantly higher amongst patients with HCC (4.4% vs. 30.8%, p < 0.001). In patients with available liver biopsy (n = 249, 25%), advanced fibrosis (F3–F4) was significantly associated with higher HCC incidence, but not steatosis, lobular inflammation, nor ballooning. In the overall cohort, FIB-4 ≥1.3 (HR 8.46, 95% CI 1.06–67.4, p = 0.044) and older age (HR 1.06, 95% CI 1.01–1.11, p = 0.025) were associated with increasing risk of HCC over time, whereas in cirrhotic patients predictors of HCC included decreasing values of albumin (HR 0.34, 95% CI 0.13–0.87, p = 0.024), platelets (HR 0.98, 95% CI 0.98–0.99, p = 0.001), and increasing values of liver stiffness (HR 1.03, 95% CI 1.00–1.06, p = 0.016). Conclusions: In a Spanish cohort of NAFLD patients, HCC was rare in non-cirrhotic patients. NITs might play a relevant role at predicting HCC.
Hepatocellular carcinoma; Transient elastography
Pons M, Rivera-Esteban J, Manzano R, Bañares J, Bermúdez M, Vargas V, et al. Non-Invasive Tests of Liver Fibrosis Help in Predicting the Development of Hepatocellular Carcinoma among Patients with NAFLD. J Clin Med. 2022 May;11(9):2466.
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