Can FIB4 and NAFLD fibrosis scores help endocrinologists refer patients with non-alcoholic fat liver disease to a hepatologist?
ABSTRACT Objective The objective of this study is to evaluate the performance of mathematical models used in non-invasive diagnosis of liver fibrosis in nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) patients to determine when the patient needs to be referred to a hepatologist. Subjects and methods Patients referred by endocrinologists to the liver outpatient departments in two hospitals in Curitiba, Brazil, over a 72-month period were analyzed. The results calculated using the APRI, FIB 4, FORNS and NAFLD Fibrosis Score non-invasive liver fibrosis assessment models were analyzed and compared with histological staging of this population. Results Sixty-seven patients with NAFLD were analyzed. Forty-two of them (62.68%) were female, mean age was 54.76 (±9.63) years, mean body mass index 31.42 (±5.64) and 59 (88.05%) of the 67 cases had glucose intolerance or diabetes. A diagnosis of steatohepatitis was made in 45 (76.27%) of the 59 biopsied patients, and advanced liver fibrosis (stages 3 and 4) was diagnosed in 18 (26.86%) of the 67 patients in the study population. The FIB 4 and NAFLD Fibrosis Score models had a high negative predictive value (93.48% and 93.61%, respectively) in patients with severe liver fibrosis (stages 3 and 4). Conclusion In conclusion, use of the FIB 4 and NAFLD Fibrosis Score models in NAFLD patients allows a diagnosis of severe liver disease to be excluded.