Mortality of Alcohol-related-Liver-Disease (ArLD) is increasing, and liver fibrosis stage is the best mortality predictor. Non-invasive-tests (NIT) are increasingly used to detect fibrosis, but their value as prognostic tests in chronic liver disease (CLD), and in particular in ArLD is less well recognized. We aimed to describe the prognostic performance of four widely used NITs (FIB4, ELF test, FibroScan and FibroTest) in ArLD.
Applying systematic-review methodology, four databases were searched from inception to May 2020. Inclusion/exclusion criteria were applied to search using MeSH terms and keywords. First and second reviewers independently screened results, extracted data and performed risk-of-bias assessment using Quality-In-Prognostic-Studies (QUIPS) tool.
Searches produced 25,088 articles. After initial screening, 1,020 articles were reviewed independently by both reviewers. Eleven articles remained after screening for eligibility: one on ELF, four on FibroScan, four on FIB4, one on FIB4+FibroScan and one on FibroTest+FIB4. Area-Under-Receiving-Operator-Characteristics-curves (AUROCS) for outcome-prediction ranged from: 0.65-0.76 for FibroScan, 0.64-0.83 for FIB4, 0.69-0.79 for FibroTest and 0.72-0.85 for ELF. Studies scored low-moderate risk of bias for most domains, but high-risk in confounding/statistical reporting domains. The results were heterogeneous for outcomes and reporting, making pooling of data unfeasible.
This systematic-review returned eleven papers, six of which were conference-abstracts and one unpublished manuscript. Whilst the heterogeneity of studies precluded direct comparisons of NITs, each NIT performed well in individual studies in predicting prognosis in ArLD (AUROCs >0.7 in each NIT category), and may add value to prognostication in clinical practice.
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