EL-Shahat A. Toson, Gamal E. Shiha, Asmaa E. Abdelgaleel
Background and rationale for the study. Liver biopsy is the golden standard for staging liver fibrosis, but it may be accompanied by complications. Because of this complication, the aim of this study is to evaluate a simple noninvasive score to assess hepatic fibrosis in chronic hepatitis C genotype 4 patients which is very may have an important in diagnosis and therapeutic decision. This score [HA vascular (HAV) score] is a combination of direct markers [hyaluronic acid (HA) and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF)] and indirect markers [aspartate aminotransferase (AST)/alanine aminotransferase (ALT) ratio (AAR)]. Results. Samples were collected from 220 patients (F0-F4): an estimated group (n = 120) and a validated group (n = 100). HA and VEGF levels, HCV RNA, liver function tests, platelet counts were assayed, Fibroscan was done and liver biopsy was taken and the stage of liver fibrosis and the grade of inflammatory activity was calculated according to Metavir score system. HA vascular (HAV) score = -35.1 + 0.14 (HA) (ng/L) + 0.03 (VEGF) (pg/mL) + (-6.7) [AAR (AST/ALT ratio)]. The HAV score produced areas under curve of 0.979 and 0.994 for significant (F2-F4) and advanced fibrosis (F3-F4) (cut off = 0.583 and 6.3, respectively). Surprisingly, the validation study of this score gave very good values of AUCs i.e. 0.990, 0.996 and 0.995 for significant, advanced and liver cirrhosis. Conclusions: Our developed score can not only help to assess liver fibrosis staging effectively but also avoid the invasiveness and the limitations of liver biopsy in Egyptian hepatitis C virus patients.
Key words. Hyaluronic acid vascular score., Hyaluronic acid., Vascular endothelial growth factor., Liver fibrosis., Genotype 4.