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Aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index (APRI) for the non-invasive prediction of esophageal varices

Ângelo Zambam De Mattos, Angelo Alves de Mattos, Larissa Faraco Daros, Maiara Isabel Musskopf


Background & Aims. Variceal bleeding is a dramatic and common complication of cirrhosis, and, therefore, endoscopy is recommended for the screening of EV (esophageal varices) in every cirrhotic. This study evaluates the capacity of APRI (aspartate aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index) in non-invasively predicting EV. Material and methods. This cross-sectional study evaluated cirrhotics for their APRI value and the presence of EV, with a cutoff point of 1, 3; platelet count, spleen diameter, PC/SD (platelet count/ spleen diameter ratio), aspartate aminotransferase/alanine aminotransferase ratio, Child-Pugh score and MELD (model for end-stage liver disease) score were also studied. Results. The study included 164 cirrhotics, 59.7% male, with a mean age of 56.7 years. APRI demonstrated a sensitivity of 64.7% (95% confidence interval-95%CI = 0.56-0.73), specificity of 72.7% (95%CI = 0.59-0.86), positive predictive value of 86.5% (95%CI = 0.79-0.94), negative predictive value of 43.2% (95%CI = 0.32-0.55). In the univariate analysis, platelet count, spleen diameter, Child and MELD scores, PC/SD and APRI were related to EV (p < 0.05). In the logistic regression, only platelet count and Child score were associated to EV (p < 0.05). Conclusion. APRI is not an independent factor for the prediction of EV. Its sensitivity, specificity and predictive values are insufficient for the index to be used for the screening of EV in cirrhotics.

Key words. Cirrhosis, Portal hypertension, Endoscopy

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The Official Journal of the Mexican Association of Hepatology, the Latin-American Association for the Study of the Liver and the Canadian Association for the Study of the Liver

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