Can aminotransferase-to-platelet ratio index and other non-invasive markers effectively reduce liver biopsies for renal transplant evaluation of hepatitis C virus-positive patients?

Yan Jiang, Edmund Huang, Alireza Mehrnia, Mandana Kamgar, Phuong T. Pham, Olaoluwapo Ogunorunyinka, Isaiah Brown, Gabriel M. Danovitch, Suphamai Bunnapradist

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background. Advanced fibrosis or cirrhosis is still regarded as a contraindication for kidney transplantation alone by most centers. The value of aminotransferase to platelet ratio index (APRI) and other non-invasive markers has been less studied in hepatitis C virus (HCV)-positive patients with concurrent end-stage renal disease to predict hepatic fibrosis. Can these be used to effectively decrease the number of biopsies done in these patients being evaluated for transplantation? Methods. Our study population included 255 patients with liver biopsy data. All patient information was collected and reviewed from medical records. The diagnostic accuracy of the predictive models was analyzed by calculating sensitivity, specificity, positive predictive value and negative predictive value. Results. The variables associated with F3-F4 were aspartate aminotransferase (P = 0.007), bilirubin (P ≤ 0.001), platelet count (P = 0.01) and APRI (P ≤ 0.001). The use of any one laboratory abnormality to predict liver biopsy scores did not show high positive predictive values (22.6-72.7%). Having abnormal liver findings or cirrhosis on imaging was associated with high specificities (92.0-97.8%) but low sensitivities (31.4- 42.9%). Using APRI levels of ≥0.40 and ≤0.95 as an indication for liver biopsy, 50% of patients with F3-F4 would have correctly avoided having a biopsy. However, 33% of patients with F3-F4 would have been mislabeled and not be indicated for biopsy. Conclusions. Our data suggest that there may not currently be a simple and sufficiently accurate non-invasive test to replace liver biopsy in renal transplant workup for HCV-positive patients. The risks outweigh the benefits when it comes to using non-invasive markers like the APRI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1247-1252
Number of pages6
JournalNephrology Dialysis Transplantation
Volume29
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2014

Keywords

  • hepatitis c
  • liver fibrosis
  • non-invasive markers
  • renal transplant

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Nephrology
  • Transplantation

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