- 1Liver Diseases Branch, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Bethesda, MD 20892, United States.
- 2Laboratory of Pathology, National Cancer Institute, Bethesda, MD 20892, United States.
- 3Liver Diseases Branch, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, Bethesda, MD 20892, United States. firstname.lastname@example.org.
Background: Simple tools for clinicians to identify cirrhosis in patients with chronic viral hepatitis are medically necessary for treatment initiation, hepatocellular cancer screening and additional medical management.
Aim: To determine whether platelets or other laboratory markers can be used as a simple method to identify the development of cirrhosis.
Methods: Clinical, biochemical and histologic laboratory data from treatment naive chronic viral hepatitis B (HBV), C (HCV), and D (HDV) patients at the NIH Clinical Center from 1985-2019 were collected and subjects were randomly divided into training and validation cohorts. Laboratory markers were tested for their ability to identify cirrhosis (Ishak ≥ 5) using receiver operating characteristic curves and an optimal cut-off was calculated within the training cohort. The final cut-off was tested within the validation cohort.
Results: Overall, 1027 subjects (HCV = 701, HBV = 240 and HDV = 86), 66% male, with mean (standard deviation) age of 45 (11) years were evaluated. Within the training cohort (n = 715), platelets performed the best at identifying cirrhosis compared to other laboratory markers [Area Under the Receiver Operating Characteristics curve (AUROC) = 0.86 (0.82-0.90)] and sensitivity 77%, specificity 83%, positive predictive value 44%, and negative predictive value 95%. All other tested markers had AUROCs ≤ 0.77. The optimal platelet cut-off for detecting cirrhosis in the training cohort was 143 × 109/L and it performed equally well in the validation cohort (n = 312) [AUROC = 0.85 (0.76-0.94)].
Conclusion: The use of platelet counts should be considered to identify cirrhosis and ensure optimal care and management of patients with chronic viral hepatitis.