Comparison of FIB-4 and transient elastography in evaluating liver fibrosis of chronic hepatitis C subjects in community

Pin Nan Cheng, Hung Chih Chiu, Yen Cheng Chiu, Shu Chuan Chen, Yi Chen

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10 Citations (Scopus)


Background and aim The role of non-invasive methods to evaluate fibrosis severity of chronic hepatitis C (CHC) subjects in community needs to be explored. This study investigated FIB-4 and transient elastography (TE) in staging liver fibrosis of CHC subjects in community. Methods A total of 905 subjects who were positive for anti-HCV antibody from five districts of Tainan City of Taiwan were invited to participate in surveillance activities for CHC. FIB-4 and TE were measured for each participant. Results A total of 502 subjects with detectable HCV RNA and valid TE were enrolled. The distribution of FIB-4 and TE values differed markedly. Both methods exhibited a strongest correlation in subjects with at age 50~60 years (r = 0.655, p <0.001). FIB-4 score increased proportionally with age (p <0.001), but TE did not (p = 0.142). The intraclass correlation efficient of both methods was 0.255 (p <0.001). Subjects with TE defined advanced fibrosis exhibited younger age, higher BMI, higher platelet count, lower FIB-4 score, higher incidence of fatty liver and splenomegaly, and higher controlled attenuation parameter value than those defined by FIB-4. By multivariate logistic regression analysis, higher ALT levels, higher incidence of fatty liver, and presence of splenomegaly were the independent factors associated with advanced fibrosis defined by TE rather than defined by FIB-4. Conclusions FIB-4 and TE defined different distribution of fibrosis stages in same HCV population. FIB-4 was deeply influenced by age whereas TE was not. TE had the advantages over than FIB-4 in strong association with splenomegaly and in detecting the role of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease in advanced fibrosis.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0206947
JournalPloS one
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 2018 Nov

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General


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