Role of Liver Stiffness Measurement in Predicting HCC Occurrence in Direct-Acting Antivirals Setting: A Real-Life Experience
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The aim of this study was to evaluate the relationship between the liver stiffness measurement and the risk of developing hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in HCV cirrhotic patients undergoing new direct-acting antivirals.
From April 2015 to April 2017, all consecutive HCV cirrhotic patients treated by direct-acting antivirals were enrolled. A liver stiffness measurement was computed at baseline, and an ultrasound evaluation was provided for all patients at baseline and every 6 months until 1 year after the stopping of the antiviral therapy. The diagnosis of HCC was performed according to international guidelines by imaging technique workup.
Two hundred and fifty-eight HCV patients with a diagnosis of cirrhosis were identified. The median liver stiffness was 25.5 kPa. Thirty-five patients developed HCC. Patients were divided into three groups, based on their liver stiffness: < 20 kPa (n = 72), between 20 and 30 kPa (n = 92) and > 30 kPa (n = 94). Compared to the < 20 kPa and 20–30 kPa groups, the > 30 kPa group showed a statistically significant increased risk of HCC (p = 0.019; HR 0.329; 95% CI 0.131–0.830). A ROC curve analysis to assess the overall predictive performance of liver stiffness measurement on the HCC risk was performed. The results allow us to identify a cutoff value of liver stiffness measurement equal to 27.8 kPa, which guarantees the highest sensitivity and specificity (respectively, 72% and 65%).
The data underline that the baseline liver stiffness measurement and ultrasound surveillance is a valuable tool for assessing the risk of HCC in cirrhotic patients undergoing the direct-acting antivirals treatment.
KeywordsTransient elastography Direct-acting antiviral HCC HCV cirrhosis Liver stiffness
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have not any personal or financial conflicts of interest.
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