Background: APRI and FIB-4 scores are used to exclude clinically significant fibrosis (defined as stage ≥ F2) in patients with chronic viral hepatitis. However, the cut-offs for these scores (generated by Youden indices) vary between different patient cohorts. This study aimed to evaluate whether serum dithiothreitol-oxidizing capacity (DOC), i.e., a surrogate test of quiescin sulfhydryl oxidase-1, which is a matrix remodeling enzyme, could be used to non-invasively identify significant fibrosis in patients with various chronic liver diseases (CLDs). Methods: Diagnostic performance of DOC was compared with APRI and FIB-4 for identifying significant fibrosis. ROC curve analyses were undertaken in: a) two chronic hepatitis B (CHB) cohorts, independently established from hospitals in Wenzhou (n = 208) and Hefei (n = 120); b) a MASLD cohort from Wenzhou hospital (n = 122); and c) a cohort with multiple CLD etiologies (except CHB and MASLD; n = 102), which was identified from patients in both hospitals. Cut-offs were calculated using the Youden index. All CLD patients (n = 552) were then stratified by age for ROC curve analyses and cut-off calculations. Results: Stratified by CLD etiology or age, ROC curve analyses consistently showed that the DOC test was superior to APRI and FIB-4 for discriminating between clinically significant fibrosis and no fibrosis, when APRI and FIB-4 showed poor/modest diagnostic performance (P < 0.05, P < 0.01 and P < 0.001 in 3, 1 and 3 cohort comparisons, respectively). Conversely, the DOC test was equivalent to APRI and FIB-4 when all tests showed moderate/adequate diagnostic performances (P > 0.05 in 11 cohort comparisons). DOC had a significant advantage over APRI or FIB-4 scores for establishing a uniform cut-off independently of age and CLD etiology (coefficients of variation of DOC, APRI and FIB-4 cut-offs were 1.7%, 22.9% and 47.6% in cohorts stratified by CLD etiology, 2.0%, 26.7% and 29.5% in cohorts stratified by age, respectively). The uniform cut-off was 2.13, yielded from all patients examined. Surprisingly, the uniform cut-off was the same as the DOC upper limit of normal with a specificity of 99%, estimated from 275 healthy control individuals. Hence, the uniform cut-off should possess a high negative predictive value for excluding significant fibrosis in primary care settings. A high DOC cut-off with 97.5% specificity could be used for detecting significant fibrosis (≥ F2) with an acceptable positive predictive value (87.1%). Conclusions: This proof-of-concept study suggests that the DOC test may efficiently rule out and rule in significant liver fibrosis, thereby reducing the numbers of unnecessary liver biopsies. Moreover, the DOC test may be helpful for clinicians to exclude significant liver fibrosis in the general population.

Serum dithiothreitol-oxidizing capacity (DOC) is a promising biomarker for excluding significant liver fibrosis: a proof-of-concept study

Targher, Giovanni
Writing – Review & Editing
;
2024-01-01

Abstract

Background: APRI and FIB-4 scores are used to exclude clinically significant fibrosis (defined as stage ≥ F2) in patients with chronic viral hepatitis. However, the cut-offs for these scores (generated by Youden indices) vary between different patient cohorts. This study aimed to evaluate whether serum dithiothreitol-oxidizing capacity (DOC), i.e., a surrogate test of quiescin sulfhydryl oxidase-1, which is a matrix remodeling enzyme, could be used to non-invasively identify significant fibrosis in patients with various chronic liver diseases (CLDs). Methods: Diagnostic performance of DOC was compared with APRI and FIB-4 for identifying significant fibrosis. ROC curve analyses were undertaken in: a) two chronic hepatitis B (CHB) cohorts, independently established from hospitals in Wenzhou (n = 208) and Hefei (n = 120); b) a MASLD cohort from Wenzhou hospital (n = 122); and c) a cohort with multiple CLD etiologies (except CHB and MASLD; n = 102), which was identified from patients in both hospitals. Cut-offs were calculated using the Youden index. All CLD patients (n = 552) were then stratified by age for ROC curve analyses and cut-off calculations. Results: Stratified by CLD etiology or age, ROC curve analyses consistently showed that the DOC test was superior to APRI and FIB-4 for discriminating between clinically significant fibrosis and no fibrosis, when APRI and FIB-4 showed poor/modest diagnostic performance (P < 0.05, P < 0.01 and P < 0.001 in 3, 1 and 3 cohort comparisons, respectively). Conversely, the DOC test was equivalent to APRI and FIB-4 when all tests showed moderate/adequate diagnostic performances (P > 0.05 in 11 cohort comparisons). DOC had a significant advantage over APRI or FIB-4 scores for establishing a uniform cut-off independently of age and CLD etiology (coefficients of variation of DOC, APRI and FIB-4 cut-offs were 1.7%, 22.9% and 47.6% in cohorts stratified by CLD etiology, 2.0%, 26.7% and 29.5% in cohorts stratified by age, respectively). The uniform cut-off was 2.13, yielded from all patients examined. Surprisingly, the uniform cut-off was the same as the DOC upper limit of normal with a specificity of 99%, estimated from 275 healthy control individuals. Hence, the uniform cut-off should possess a high negative predictive value for excluding significant fibrosis in primary care settings. A high DOC cut-off with 97.5% specificity could be used for detecting significant fibrosis (≥ F2) with an acceptable positive predictive value (87.1%). Conclusions: This proof-of-concept study suggests that the DOC test may efficiently rule out and rule in significant liver fibrosis, thereby reducing the numbers of unnecessary liver biopsies. Moreover, the DOC test may be helpful for clinicians to exclude significant liver fibrosis in the general population.
2024
APRI index
Dithiothreitol-oxidizing capacity (DOC)
FIB-4
Liver fibrosis
NASH
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1130366
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